Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Community Planning (MCP)


Community Planning and Area Development


Historically, the primary land use of the majority of the Providence waterfront has been industrial and commercial uses. The Port of Providence, located on the southern section of the waterfront, has served as a regional trade center for most of the City's history. The northern area of the waterfront, along the Seekonk River, has had a quite different land use history. Residential and commercial uses have been the primary historic land uses.

Although the diversity of uses along the Providence waterfront is still present, development pressures are bringing historic waterfront land use practice and policy into question. Issues such as economic development, housing and scarcity of land have brought controversy as to the best use of the waterfront as a City resource. Developers, preservationists, environmentalists, and fiscal planners all differ on needed policies and actions.

Although there have been studies completed on segments of the waterfront (such as the Port), no study has yet integrated these studies into a unified plan for the entire waterfront. To assure the best land use practice by the City along the Providence waterfront, a study is needed to look closely at waterfront resources. It is important that the City adopts a land use plan for the whole waterfront which applies consistent land-use planning methods to all areas of the waterfront. Overall Goals and objectives must be generated for the waterfront to provide a guide for future changes which will increase the overall value of the waterfront to the public.

Further, the City has plans to create a Harbor Management Plan for the Management of its harbor resources. A Harbor Management Plan (HMP) is concerned with the interaction of water and land resources. To establish an effective HMP then, the City must have land use plans and policies which will interact with and reinforce harbor management.



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