Former NYC Parks Commissioner and Senior VP at Trust for Public Land ADRIAN BENEPE Comes to Providence

PROVIDENCE, RI – The Providence Preservation Society kicks off a yearlong speaker series on downtown Providence and the making of great cities with Adrian Benepe, former New York City Parks Commissioner and now Senior Vice President and Director of City Park Development at the Trust for Public Land. The series, entitled Not Always Easy: Building the New Urban Experience, will feature dynamic urban leaders and experts on topics including government and development, open space and public land, and transportation. Mr. Benepe will begin the series leading a discussion on the benefit and potential of open space and public land on Thursday, November 14, 2013, from 5:30 – 8:00 pm, at the iconic Industrial Trust Building, 111 Westminster Street, Providence.

“Downtown Providence is in the midst of another major evolution in our quest to be a great mid-sized American city. Between the new vision for Kennedy Plaza and potential in the 195 parcels, open space and public land is a critical piece of the puzzle,” stated Lucie Searle, President of the Providence Preservation Society. “Adrian Benepe has a vast and impressive history maximizing a city’s park system, developing public-private partnerships, and catalyzing the economic impact of some of America’s greatest parks. We are thrilled he is joining us here in Providence and kicking off this series.”


Adrian Benepe has worked in the public and non-profit realm as a leader in park and public space conservation, design, construction and operation, in the areas of city planning, arts, culture, historic preservation, and landscape and urban design for his entire career. As Parks Commissioner of the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation under Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, he oversaw public-private partnerships that catalyzed the development of several signature city parks, including the High Line and Brooklyn Bridge Park. During his 11-year tenure, he added 730 new acres of parks and public space in NYC, laying the groundwork for an additional 2,000 park acres. In 2012, Mr. Benepe became Senior Vice President and Director of City Park Development for The Trust for Public Land and oversees the urban work of over thirty offices whose projects include parks, playgrounds, gardens, trails and greenways across the United States.


“I am excited to come to Providence,” said Adrian Benepe. “Providence is well known for its historic architecture and innovative urban planning, but I have yet to really explore what is happening there. I hope to share examples and experiences from other cities across the country and around the world that reveal the potential for quality public space to create better places to live, work and visit. I look forward to diving into this conversation with Providence leaders.”


The event will take place in the first floor bank hall of the Industrial Trust Building, Providence’s tallest skyscraper that sits across from Kennedy Plaza and Burnside Park at 111 Westminster Street. It is being organized in collaboration with the Downtown Providence Parks Conservancy (DPPC), an advocate for the redevelopment of Kennedy Plaza and the downtown Providence park system. After Mr. Benepe’s talk, Cliff Wood, executive director of DPPC will join him on stage for a one-on-one dialogue and facilitate questions from the audience.


A brief wine and hors d’ouevres reception will open and close the free event. Interested attendees can find out more information at, or call 401-831-7440. RSVP to

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