Providence Symposium Packs Three-Days with Top National Speakers and Local Stakeholders in Talks about Downtown Providence

PROVIDENCE, RI – The Providence Preservation Society’s yearlong speaker series culminates with top national speakers and local stakeholders on November 6, 7 and 8, 2014. Bringing nearly 300 people out to each event in this past year, the PPS series, Not Always Easy: Building the New Urban Experience, hosts dynamic leaders from key urban areas to share their experiences in grappling with issues critical to Providence’s growth, such as government and development, open space and public land, and transportation. All talks take place at the Industrial Trust Building, 111 Westminster Street in Downtown Providence. On November 8, the Arcade hosts coffee followed by walking tours with leading experts. Details can be found

THIS WEEK, the packed line-up includes:

  •      *  Mayor Mark Mallory, two term mayor of Cincinnati from 2005-2013
  •      * Gabe Klein, former Director of Transportation in Washington, DC and Chicago
  •      * Richard Galvin, President CV Properties and developer of South Street Landing in Providence
  •      * David Dooley, President, University of Rhode Island
  •      * Christina Paxson, President, Brown University
  •      * Scott Avedisian, Mayor of Warwick and Chair of RI Public Transit Authority
  •      * Richard Licht, former Department of Administration for the State of Rhode Island
  •      * Dan Da Ponte, Chairman of RI Senate Finance Committee, among others.

Tickets vary from FREE to $125.00. More details and registration can be found at, or by calling 401-831-7440.



5:30 pm – 7:30 pm

Industrial Trust Building

111 Westminster Street



Mayor Mark Mallory kicks off the event on Thursday, November 6 at 5:30 pm with a keynote address. Mallory’s two-terms in office are marked by bold leadership, inspiration and partnership. During one of the city and nation’s most difficult economic periods, Mallory led Cincinnati through major investments and projects including the development of The Banks, 18 acres of land along the Ohio River between the Bengals and Reds stadiums Downtown; transforming dozens of buildings into hundreds of apartments and condos in theOver-the-Rhine neighborhood,; a $47-million renovation of Washington Park, an historic city park; and the construction of a streetcar, scheduled to open for service in 2016. At the Symposium, Mayor Mallory will share how he convinced city residents these projects were worth investing in, brought key stakeholders to the table and ushered in positive change for the City of Cincinnati.

A ticketed ($75) cocktail reception follows his talk on the 25th floor of the Industrial Trust Building.



8:00  am – 5:00 pm

Industrial Trust Building

111 Westminster Street


9:00 am: The Symposium continues on Friday, November 7 with innovator, entrepreneur, and former Department of Transportation Director Gabe Klein. Before public service, Klein was involved in a number of private transit and retail start-ups, including Zipcar, where, as Regional Vice President, he transformed the company brand, and made Washington, DC the nation’s largest carsharing city. In 2008, he was elected as Director of the DC Department of Transportation where he innovated the technology, customer interface and multi-modal system and shepherded the adoption of the nation’s first bikeshare program, Capital Bikeshare. From 2011 to 2013, as Commissioner of the Chicago Department of Transportation under Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Klein published six groundbreaking plans centered in implementing Complete Streets policy, and led the adoption of Divvy, Chicago’s new bikeshare program.

Continuing on Friday, the Symposium focuses locally on Providence with the following:

10:45 am: A panel entitled Development Partnerships: Making South Street Station Work discussing the intricacies of public-private partnerships and tools for driving development in the city. Moderated by Richard Galvin, Principal of CV Properties, private developer who shepherded the partnership for redevelopment of South Street Station in Providence, joined by Executive Vice President for Planning & Policy at Brown University Russell Carey, URI President David Dooley, and Former Director of the RI Department of Administration Richard Licht.

1:45 pm: A second panel entitled From Talk to Action: Applying Good Urban Ideas to Providence discussing taking ideas presented in the 2013-2014 Providence Symposium speakers and applying them in Providence. Moderated by Maureen Moakley, Chair of the URI’s Department of Political Science; joined by Jan Brodie, Executive Director of the 195 Commission, Buff Chace, Principal of Cornish Associates, Senator Dan Da Ponte, Chairman of the RI Senate Finance Committee, and Christina Paxson, President of Brown University.

4:00 pm, FREE: The Providence Preservation Society’s Historic Preservation Awards Ceremony and Reception – recognizing individuals, organizations, and businesses that have maintained and enhanced the architectural heritage of Providence through preservation and new design. Eight preservation projects located throughout Rhode Island will receive awards.

A reception at the Arcade Providence follows from 5:00 – 7:00 pm



10:00 am

The Arcade Providence

54 Weybosset Street


10:00 am
: On Saturday, November 8, the Symposium continues with coffee at The Arcade, 54 Weybosset Street, Providence, followed by walking tours of Downtown Providence. Tours include: a walkabout of the 195 land with Executive Director Jan Brodie; a walking tour of the proposed streetcar route with Providence’s Director of Long Range Planning Bonnie Nickerson; a historic preservation tour of downtown Providence with RI Historical Society’s Barbara Barnes; and, a tour of the Industrial Trust Building with RISD Professor Matthew Bird. All tours leave from the Arcade at 11:00 am.

The Presenting Series Partner for this yearlong conversation is The Providence Journal Charitable Legacy Fund. Other sponsors include Brown University, Durkee Brown Viveiros & Werenfels Architects, Northeast Collaborative Architects, LGC&D, Pezzuco Construction, and the Felicia Fund.

Tickets to the November events vary from FREE to $125.00. More details and registration can be found at, or by calling 401-831-7440.


About the Providence Preservation Society

The Providence Preservation Society has been protecting the city’s historic fabric and influencing decisions around built environment and quality of life for 58 years. The organization is responsible for cultivating major preservation investment and changes that celebrate the economic, cultural and historic fabric of this capital city. PPS’ mission is to improve the quality of life in the city of Providence through historic preservation and the enhancement of the built environment. Their annual Providence Symposium sets the stage each year for significant discourse on preservation and the evolution of Providence.  For more information,

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