Mayor Smiley Unveils $2 Million Enhancements to Providence's Downtown Parks

Major enhancements and cultural additions boost City public spaces


With a focus on enhancing and preserving public spaces, the Mayor Brett Smiley, in collaboration with local leaders and community organizations, is launching various transformative projects to promote community involvement and pride.

These initiatives are the result of joint efforts between the Department of Parks, the Downtown Providence Parks Network, and the Downtown Neighborhood Association. One key project is the renovation of the Waterplace Park Tunnel, which is receiving financial support from the 2023 Capital Improvement Plan, Rhode Island Commerce, and generous in-kind donations.

The installation of a new skylight and dynamic lighting system in the Waterplace Park Tunnel are among the upgrades, with the aim of not only illuminating the space and adding to the aesthetic appeal, but also improving safety for pedestrians. Smiley expressed his commitment to enhancing the local quality of life, stating, "The transformative projects at Waterplace Park and throughout Downtown Providence demonstrate our dedication to the community." The lighting system will also commemorate over 60 national and cultural events.

Downtown Providence has already seen significant restorations, such as the renovation of the historic Bajnotti Fountain in Burnside Park, which combines heritage preservation with modern infrastructure needs. In addition to these historic restorations, practical improvements have been implemented throughout the city, including new energy-efficient LED fixtures in Memorial Park, and the Providence Rink has undergone a complete overhaul of its mechanical systems, as well as incorporating aesthetic enhancements through the Shade Sail Project.

The city is also actively embracing cultural initiatives, such as the year-long Rado Kirov Sculptures exhibition in Burnside Park, which brings artistic value and cultural enrichment to downtown Providence.


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