Meet Bright City Providence, Rhode Island

June 21, 2019
Meet Providence

One of the oldest cities in the U.S., Providence is also the capital and most populous city in Rhode Island. Grand historic buildings populate a thriving downtown and many delicious restaurants and cafes are within easy walking distance of City Hall (built 1878). Providence also shares Rhode Island’s affinity for coffee and boasts the most coffee and doughnut shops per capita of any city in the country. The city is home to many urban farms and community gardens, and the City’s Botanical Center at Roger Williams Park is the largest public indoor display garden in New England with nearly 12,000 square feet of indoor gardens.

Providence city staff are providing cutting-edge leadership on sustainability initiatives throughout Rhode Island. The city’s thoughtful sustainability report and corresponding innovative online sustainability dashboard describe exciting progress toward measurable goals aimed at making Providence a healthier, greener, more equitable and sustainable city by focusing on improvements in the areas of waste, food, transportation, water, energy and land use and development.

Providence’s Office of Sustainability promotes a healthy, sustainable and equitable Providence. In May, sustainability staff organized a SustainPVD fair bringing together residents, local businesses, non-profits and community activists for a celebration of sustainable living and climate justice. This summer, Providence will introduce the city’s first Climate Justice Strategy, co-developed with the Racial and Environmental Committee of Providence, which puts forward an equitable pathway to meet Mayor Elorza’s goal of becoming a carbon neutral city by 2050.

I am excited by Providence’s commitment to involve community members in defining achievable actions to reduce toxic exposures, and by the opportunities to procure healthier furniture and products for Providence's new preK classrooms. Providence’s community partner, Clean Water Action, is equally committed to achieving these goals.  As Providence finalizes its Bright Cities Action Plan this summer, Bright Cities will continue to provide media assistance, best practices information, and networking with cohort cities and allied state and national NGOs.

Would your City benefit from similar actions? Or, is your City interested in being part of the Bright Cities program?

To discuss this and anything else, please contact Bright Cities Program Director, Kyra Naumoff Shields at