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Preservation society says Providence can learn from Cincinnati

Mark Mallory was mayor of Cincinnati from 2005 to 2013.
Mark Mallory was mayor of Cincinnati from 2005 to 2013.
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A former mayor of Cincinnati takes a look at Providence and sees opportunities to make the city thrive again.

The highway has moved, but the developers aren't lining up. The former Interstate 195 land in Providence still sits, waiting for proposals.

Someday it could look like similar empty riverfront property in Cincinnati, Ohio, that has blossomed into a mixed use magnet.

How did it happen?

"What I did in Cincinnati was call on people to reengage themselves with the pride that they should have in their city," former Mayor Mark Mallory said.

Mallory was mayor of Cincinnati from 2005 to 2013, through the repression. But he still got the project built by relentless salesmanship.

"You can never talk about the great things that are going to happen in a city too much. Just keep talking about it," Mallory said.

The same strategy helped rebuild a neighborhood that wasn't nearly as promising as Providence's downtown.

"Now it's just a matter of deciding what new direction the city wants to go in, figuring out how to propose that, how to finance it, and getting it done," Mallory said.

He's one of the speakers wrapping up a year-long series by the Providence Preservation Society because city backers feel that Providence is on the verge.

"There's a pretty critical and amazing moment in our city in terms of growth and we're on the path of becoming the next great city," said Lisa Carnevale of the Providence Preservation Society.

The PPS speaker series will be wrapping up over the next two days.

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