Norview Five Points Better Block
As part of the Norview Five Points Better Block project, volunteers from JCSU’s Master’s of Social Work program gathered data on the perception of the public realm before and after the Better Block designs were implemented. To do this, they utilized the Gehl Institute’s 12 Quality Criteria for measuring public places. As the results below show, the perception of the area became more positive for all twelve metrics. The data revealed that people felt that the area was more walkable, safe, connected, and evoked a stronger sense of place identity. In particular, people reported that the area clearly invited them to linger, that it was active, and that the entire space was more functional after the Better Block process had taken place.
The overall positive feedback solidified that basing the community’s ideas on how to make their area better definitely worked. However, one thing that the data fail to express was the Better Block’s ability to bring people together. Eric Orozco, a planner with Neighboring Concept who’s been working with the area for years, said, “We saw children sit together that never sat together before.” Or, as one self-described lifelong resident who went by only Tommy said, “This is great, everyone coming together. Five Points hasn’t seen something like this in a long while.” The way he figures it, “Our blood’s all the same color. We should be able to break bread among one another.”