This week’s edition of the Providence Phoenix has a lengthy article by reporter and local blogger Ian Donnis about the battle over the future of the city’s waterfront:

A specter is haunting the Providence waterfront — the prospect of change.

Take a look at the upper mouth of Narragansett Bay from a high point on George M. Cohan Boulevard, and the area looks much as it has for years: sun-dappled days offer glistening water in proximity to the ship repair work, numerous fuel storage tanks, and other gritty industrial elements that line much of the corridor along Allens Avenue.

If this picture doesn’t square with the kind of pleasant recreation and other public uses sometimes associated with waterfront property, it nonetheless represents a genuine economic generator and a source of good-paying jobs.

Yet various factors — particularly the ongoing relocation of Interstate 195 and the sparse amount of developable land in Providence — are combining to make the city’s waterfront a high-stakes battleground. And the outcome of these skirmishes will have statewide repercussions for years to come.

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