Team Better Block

Better Block

Dallas and elsewhere

2010 to present

What makes some city streets thrive, while mere blocks away, others flounder? Activists Jason Roberts and Andrew Howard in Dallas wanted to propose some answers, so in 2010, they transformed a blighted street into a “better block” for 24 hours – with bike lanes, sidewalk cafes, food stalls, and other amenities. A Better Block was born. These “living charrettes” demonstrate that obsolete zoning or commerce restrictions often pose obstacles to such things as outdoor seating or music, and encourage communities to actively participate in the shaping of their own neighborhoods. City officials are now recognizing Better Block as a useful economic development tool. In the past two years, 32 Better Blocks have been realized across the U.S. by the original team and by independent community groups.

Accessibility, Community, Economy
60 days - 30 research and outreach, 20 logistics and publicity, 8 space preparation, 2 installation
Problem - dreary blocks
Solution - community-led overhaul of public streets