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ERIC Number: EJ792607
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005
Pages: 2
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0895-6405
Creative Places: How RISD Invigorates Providence
Mandle, Roger
Connection: The Journal of the New England Board of Higher Education, v20 n1 p24-25 Sum 2005
Institutions like Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) provide New England with cultural wealth in a variety of ways, including the great art and design housed in their museums and their vibrant faculty and student body, which numbers in RISD's case, 1,900 undergraduates and 375 graduate students from the United States and almost 50 countries. Traditionally, institutions have relegated their relationship with their neighbors to a discreet set of activities referred to as "town-gown relations," but RISD considers itself an active participant in the ongoing redevelopment and future aspirations of the city. In the 1970s, Gerald Howes, a RISD architecture professor, conceived of a plan to change the fundamental structure and appearance of Providence. After the city relocated railroad tracks and uncovered a long hidden river running through its center, RISD found itself with a spectacular riverfront campus. RISD's reorientation to downtown Providence physically positions the college for direct collaboration with leaders of the city's business community, government officials, nonprofit organizations and local residents. This engagement has helped RISD to flourish and also helped revitalize the city. With a population of just over 175,000, Providence has the advantage of size. The city can claim an intimacy, a sense of community. So in addition to collaborating with the college's immediate neighbors, RISD faculty and staff engage in a multitude of conversations to improve the city, ranging from the Rhode Island Economic Policy Council's attempt to designate Providence a world design capital to the Rhode Island Public Expenditure Council's debating of state budget issues to the CEOs for Cities and the Providence Foundation's work on revitalizing the city's downtown. RISD is committed to helping nurture Providence into a creative city that is competitive with any in the 21st century. What exactly can an institution of higher education bring to the infrastructure, the vitality of a city, and the quality of life for all its residents? This article describes RISD's contributions which take many forms.
New England Board of Higher Education. 45 Temple Place, Boston, MA 02111. Tel: 617-357-9620; Fax: 617-338-1577; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Rhode Island; United States