Reconnecting The Blackstone & The City

The 2020 LAR 444 Design studio focused on downtown Woonsocket, RI, an early industrial city located on the Blackstone River. Working with Woonsocket City Planners, the senior class was tasked with reimagining select areas in downtown and linking them to the river and other destinations. Students analyzed existing mill buildings; parks and open spaces; streets, walks, and trails; and edges along the river. The class held a remote workshop with officials and stakeholders at which students presented their analysis of conditions and facilitated breakout room activities. After summarizing the session, students divided into teams and selected project areas.
Final designs were produced for Thundermist Falls and adjacent park land, River Island Art Park, a section of Main Street, and Truman Drive. Objectives included urban and park enhancements, providing greater access to the river and connectivity to the existing bike trail and other destinations. There were new park layouts, with spaces, structures, and gardens. There was a new ADA ramp with landings and overlooks connecting Main Street to Truman Drive. Truman drive itself was narrowed and proposed as a one way street with connections to the river, adjacent paths, and landscape improvements. One team suggested adding solar panels to parking lots to offset local energy costs, while all of the groups sought to address runoff and water quality issues. The final designs were presented remotely to a group representing the City, local businesses, and public agencies.
See the Full Report (PDF) prepared by Miranda Hulme, Lindsey Corse and Prof. W. Green