HELPING PEOPLE RECLAIM THEIR PUBLIC PLACES
My early frustration as an activist was that I knew there were problems in my neighborhood and ideas that I was seeing around the world being implemented by "experts." I wanted to find ways to reverse engineer the things they were creating so that I could do the same in my own neighborhood. That way, the community could learn and see the potential we had to make our community matter.
— Jason Roberts, Better Block Founder
Disc Golf at Oak Farms
Oak Cliff, Texas
Through a partnership with the Cienda Partners, we transformed an empty grassy lot and abandoned industrial zone into an 18-hole disc golf course complete with a beer garden that attracted neighbors and disc gold players alike.
Copley Road Better Block
Using parking spaces for public places to linger, play, and eat, we focused on bringing people together in this once underutilized space along Copley Road. This project featured microgrants to help small businesses make improvements to their spaces as well as a community footable game, several live bands, and many other aspects to showcase the area' potential.
Better Block in a Box
All the elements you need for your next placemaking event can now be found in a simple shipping container. Better Block in a Box ships nationwide to instantly transform any space into a vibrant community space.
Wisconsin Dairy Association Cheese Barn
We made history in July 2018: we worked with an entire team of people to help construct the world’s largest cheeseboard in just a couple of hours.
Oak Cliff, Texas
For FD this year, we added a new twist: we paired the designers with local retailers. We made them partners so they could guide the designs in what they would need if they were to do a pop-up version of their work.
Working with Studio Outside, Aurora, and RSM Design, we explored what it would look like to allow the public to be a part of the construction process. Instead of just doing barricade fences, we wanted to create some texture.
Aberdeen Better Block
Aberdeen, South Dakota
The Aberdeen Better Block showcased what was possible when community members came together to address issues in the public realm in downtown and the larger community issues.
Traffic Calming in Euclid
With a team of volunteers, we worked to give the traffic-riddled downtown of Euclid a colorful facelift. The new streetscape featured planters and bike lanes to be tested for one month before applying lessons learned to a permanent installation.
Copenhagen Learning Journey
Copenhagen is the mecca for good urban design. Therefore, in June, we partnered with Reimagining the Civic Commons and took two dozen people from Detroit, Akron, and Philadelphia to explore the city.
Slavic Village Better Block
In surveys of the community during the kick-off for the project, community members listed gathering places as the biggest need in the community. So, for the Slavic Village Better Block, we took 65th Street, a side street off Fleet Avenue and re-imagined it as a lively, vibrant gathering place for the community.
White Flint Better Block
Montgomery County, Maryland
Approximately six months of design and planning culminated in a community built, public, green space in an underutilized grassy lot in the Randolph Hills Shopping Center.
Hillside Better Block
Volunteers joined our team on-site in 30-degree weather to transform the area by building children’s play elements using our Wikiblock technique, installing tables, benches, string lights, and painting chalkboard signs for families to share ideas for the area.
Dallas Study Tour
The Better Block Foundation in partnership with Civic Commons Learning Network hosted a Learning Journey in Dallas that utilized a two-day study trip to immerse learning network members in the public life, policy, and culture of the city.
Kenmore Better Block
During the Kenmore Better Block, residents finally had a reason to be on there. Excitement filled the renewed Rialto Theatre, reminding residents Kenmore Boulevard was always meant to be: a place for residents to come together, listen to local music over drinks, shop at locally-owned stores, and enjoy everything their neighborhood has to offer.