New plan for Kennedy Plaza: Fewer buses, more people

In the latest reimagining of Providence’s central square, you get from Kennedy Plaza to Waterplace Park…

In the latest reimagining of Providence’s central square, you get from Kennedy Plaza to Waterplace Park by bridge instead of tunnel.

You ice skate on a “riverine,” s-shaped water feature in the plaza instead of the current BankNewport City Center rink.

And when WaterFire returns, you’ll gaze up at a giant ring suspended over the basin that sprays mist down upon spectators.

All of these things are part of a $140-million plan unveiled by Mayor Jorge Elorza and city planners Wednesday that takes another stab at making Kennedy Plaza and the downtown riverwalk more attractive and welcoming.

“We know that the Kennedy Plaza space has been the center of our city geographically, but it has never fully been the center of our city culturally,” Elorza told reporters at a Wednesday briefing. “In our mind’s eye, we have never had that city center in Providence that the other cities that we have all fallen in love with throughout the world have.”