Southwest Airlines and PPS partnered with the Downtown Providence Parks Conservancy and the City of Providence to expand family friendly activities in Burnside Park, located in the heart of downtown Providence in Greater Kennedy Plaza. Based on a series of community-led Placemaking efforts, we developed the Imagination Center, a fun destination that brings people together for activities like storytime, arts and crafts workshops, interactive play, live performances, and more. The Center is surrounded by colorful picnic tables, planting beds, and a wooden deck and includes book carts, beanbag seating, and an Imagination Playground play set.
The Imagination Center builds on several years of Placemaking efforts in Burnside Park including a weekly farmer’s market, lunchtime food truck market, regular family activities, a weekly beer garden and concert series, and special events. These Placemaking activities in Burnside Park support the City of Providence’s broader efforts to transform its entire downtown into a lively economic and cultural center through the development of exceptional public spaces.
“The Imagination Center provides the home base we desperately needed to expand and enrich our family activities in Burnside Park – it is now the key place in our Placemaking efforts for the park.”
– Jennifer Smith, Downtown Providence Parks Conservancy
“The opening of the Imagination Center advances our efforts to revitalize Kennedy Plaza and make downtown Providence a more vibrant cultural and commercial gateway to our Capital City. Working together and in partnership with Southwest Airlines, we are improving our downtown public spaces and providing more opportunities to play, recreate, dine and enjoy spending time in Kennedy Plaza.”
– Providence Mayor Angel Taveras
“The center features children’s books and play areas with nearby planting beds, picnic tables and a playground…It’s part of a larger effort to improve the park and Kennedy Plaza, open spaces in the heart of the city.”
– Associated Press
With locally-inspired activities that fly in the face of traditional park programs, from bread-baking to puppet shows, Toronto residents created a community place out of a park neglected by locals and city officials alike.