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Case Studies 

Burnside Park


Rhode Island


Contributed by 
Project for Public Spaces
October 12, 2015
December 22, 2017

What makes it Great?

Why it doesn't work?

In the summer of 2008, after participating in a PPS Placemaking workshop and bringing together multiple partners and community stakeholders, the Greater Kennedy Plaza Association (GKPA) in Providence, RI, generated $85,000 for its first year of programming. With a mission to transform neglected public spaces throughout the city into vibrant community destinations, the organization received support from numerous sources, including the Coalition for Community Development; the Department of Art, Culture + Tourism; Providence Foundation, the Parks Department; Providence Tourism Council; and the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA). The GKPA also used crowdsourcing to acquire program amenities such as portable basketball hoops (from Providence College) and welcome banners (funded by RIPTA and the Providence Preservation Society). The success of Burnside Park in Greater Kennedy Plaza is due to the financial support, donations, and multi-sector partnerships generated through these efforts, and in Summer 2008, more than 1500 visitors attended evening programs at the Plaza. Today, many of RIPTA’s 71,ooo daily users can pass through and appreciate this newly energized public space.

Access & Linkages

Comfort & Image

Uses & Activities


How Light?

How Quick?

How Cheap?

History & Background

Related Links & Sources

Photo credits, all: PPS

Follow Greater Kennedy Plaza

Website: provparksconservancy.org/visit

Facebook: facebook.com/KennedyPlaza

Twitter: @KennedyPlazaPVD

Burnside Park
The space has become a destination for families
Burnside Park
Games developed a sense of fun at Greater Kennedy Plaza
Burnside Park
A sense of place at Greater Kennedy Plaza
Burnside Park
Activities included classes for kids
Burnside Park
A space transformed through thoughtful programming
Burnside Park
Burnside Park
Burnside Park

*Please note that these Hall of Shame nominations were written in a moment in time (most over a decade ago) and likely have since changed or even been transformed. If the above entry is now great, or still not so great, go ahead and comment below on how it has evolved or nominate it as a great place.


Corrections or additions? Email info@pps.org
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