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Providence
  • $600   =  non-traditional average 1
  • $1104   =  average 2BR ÷ 2, or traditional roommate rent 2
  • $1726   =  average 1BR, rented solo 3
  • (traditional vs. non-traditional roommates)
  • (the rest of the  northeast US)

99% live within a 10-minute walk of a park. 4
Most errands can be accomplished on foot. 5
fog, abandoned buildings
public transit, bicycle friendly, pedestrian friendly, commutable to more expensive city, coastline 6
young professionals who love lofts, upcoming area, grimy hood but good mexican food, poor hipsters, insanely rich, little dominican republic, and RI escape route are the largest hoodmap tags 7

SO, roomiematch.com's Providence roommate rundown:

As one of America's oldest cities, Providence has buildings from all American architectural periods, well-preserved. Rhode Island's capital is one of the original thirteen colonies, and that heritage is celebrated.

It also boasts a storied history with both manufacturing and organized crime.

Very little organized crime lately, or so they say. Now the dominant economic forces are hospitals and higher learning, about eight campuses of each. Medical centers include a Level I Trauma Center and a Veterans Affairs medical center, as well as multiple teaching facilities.

Longer-term residents of Providence with no connection to one of the universities or medical systems often have something to do with state government or transportation around the port.

So it's super convenient that all these landmarks are closer together than most cities with similar, as Providence is geographically very compact for its population. The whole city proper is only about 20 square miles, which helps keep it walkable and bikeable.

Along with several separated bicycle lanes crossing the city, Providence is also the starting/stopping point of a few traffic-free bicycle paths leading elsewhere in the state. They're also working on their Urban Trail Network, including 60 miles of bicycle friendly greenway.

And local public transit is served by the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA). It's mostly buses, some with more rapid service. Or explore transit to Boston, along with many commuters. Many transit possibilities to Boston, most only take about an hour.

Along with access to Rhode Island's scenic coastline, Providence offers nearby culture for not a lot of money for the East Coast. You could check out the Providence Athenaeum and ponder the woman that broke up with Edgar Allen Poe right over there . . . then check out a book too - digital or old school paper.

You could also check out the Women's Flat Track Derby Association. Your local Providence Roller Derby are founding members and internationally-ranked all stars!

Current teams include the Rhode Island Riveters, Killah Bees, Old Money Honeys, Sakonnet River Roller Rats, and The Mob Squad!

The rest of the Providence roommate lowdown:

  • one of the original thirteen colonies, established in 1636
  • state capital and largest city in Rhode Island, on the eastern edge, at the head of Narragansett Bay
  • large seaport, Providence River flows through the city
  • about 200,000 in the city, about 1.5 million in the greater metro
  • high humidity and lots of precipitation year round
  • Summers are warm and foggy, while winter temperatures are moderated by proximity to water . . . but blizzards still happen, and snow might need shoveling.
  • home to the Providence Bruins of the AHL
  • home to New England Institute of Technology, Roger Williams University, Bryant College, Rhode Island School of Design, Brown University, Johnson & Wales University, Providence College, Rhode Island College, and the University of Rhode Island
  • Providence is safe for its size. Just don't go anywhere that looks abandoned.



After you're settled down, you and your roommates should experience Providence's:

  • Prospect Park: Overlooks the city, usually relaxing.
  • Roger Williams Park: Over 420 acres. Several lakes, a zoo, a botanical center, and a Museum of Natural History.
  • Water Place Park: Cobblestone-paved pedestrian walkways along the waterfront. Hosts several concert series including WaterFire, mostly in summer.
  • Providence Athenaeum: 19th century library, almost 200 years old now. Both an historic space and a modern day lending library. Anyone can drop in and browse all the artwork. Poet Sarah Helen Whitman broke up with Edgar Allan Poe here a long time ago. Parties, salons, and other cultural events are now hosted in the Victorian stacks, but don't bring your dog on the mezzanine!


Here's the city of Providence's official .gov, here an index to city departments and services, you and your roommates might need one.





Notes

1.   The non-traditional roommate rent average for this city we've experienced over the last 3 years. We can't predict future rental availability, because we're neither in control of any rental market nor psychic, sorry!

But in most cities most of the time, the recent and relatively recent past are the best predictors.


2.   This idea came from smartasset.com's ranking of what a roommate saves you in 50 cities. They ranked where roommates will save you the most money, based on the average cost of a 1BR as opposed to a 2BR ÷ 2. Unsurprisingly, the more expensive the city, the more you can save, but the savings are significant in all larger metros. So we got the data for the rest of our cities from Zumper too.

This is really the minimum you could save, as you could live with more than one roommate, split more services, share food or other supplies, etc. More sharing tends to lead to more savings too, as per our roommate roadmap.

As per the rest of the description at the top of this page, we're calling this "traditional" roommate rent.


3.   From zumper.com.


4.   Directly quoted from the Trust for Public Land's parkland rating system.

"The ParkScore index awards each city up to 100 points for acreage based on the average of two equally weighted measures: median park size and parkland as a percentage of city area. Factoring park acreage into each city’s ParkScore rating helps account for the importance of larger “destination parks” that serve many users who live farther than ten minutes’ walking distance."

While each city's rundown already includes their individual ParkScore, nature lovers might like to see all roommate cities ranked for parkland.


5.   Directly quoted from Walk Score's Cities and Neighborhoods Ranking. They've ranked "more than 2,800 cities and over 10,000 neighborhoods so you can find a walkable home or apartment."

While each city's rundown already includes their individual Walk Score, dedicated pedestrians might like to see all roommate cities ranked for walkability.


6.   From various lists here on our own best roommate cities.


7.   From hoodmaps.com: a collaborative map where residents use tags describing social situations you're likely to find. Other users can thumb up or down, so the largest tags have been thumbed up the most.