Idea for Vacant I-195 Land: A Market

Old Spitalfields Market

Old Spitalfields Market (Photo by David Iliff. License: CC-BY-SA 3.0)

So I’m reading the Providence Sustainability Plan (thanks to GCPVD) and I came across a little bullet point:

  • Support the creation of a year-round Providence Farmers’ Market.

How could Providence do this? My thought is that we already have the pretty successful Providence Flea and the Farm Fresh RI Farmers’ Markets. Why not take the cue from over in England and create a covered market for folks to sell things? It’d provide the needed year-round protection from the elements while also adding a space for retail innovation of all sorts and increase the livability of downtown. And since we’re having trouble filling the I-195 land, we could just build it there, where it’s at least somewhat accessible. And if you decided parking was superfluous, it’d also increase the use of RIPTA or other modes of transit.

Do I think this is going to happen? No. But it’s fun to think about.

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