• Jason Roberts

San Antonio Better Block wrap-up


San Antonio’s first Better Block Project in coordination with the City of San Antonio’s Complete Streets Initiative and Metro Health’s SiClovia was a great success. Over 80 volunteers showed up to help transform a vacant building, overly wide streets, and empty park into a thriving, active neighborhood destination. Teams built cafes, flower shops, art galleries, kids art spaces, outdoor food courts, wayfinding signage, benches, landscaping, bike lanes, reverse angled parking, a functioning rain garden and more in the span of days. The mayor, council members, and area residents came out to celebrate the revitalized space alongside thousands of pedestrians and cyclists who took part in San Antonio’s second ever Siclovia.


Area warehouse before photo



Area warehouse after photo



Area artists painting crosswalks


A side project we undertook while working on the Better Block was looking at the empty park beside our area and thinking about ways we could inexpensively make the space more friendly to families. After spotting some discarded tires in an alley, we instantly realized the solution: tire swings! For less than $50, we accumulated several tires, rope, and paint, and proceeded to fill the trees with swings. Within minutes of tying up the last tire, children from out of nowhere began descending on the park. Families driving by stopped, parked their cars and began playing, and our volunteers even took multiple breaks to swing. Simple solutions like these don’t cost a lot of money, but provide real value to families who want fun and inexpensive activities for their children.


Corner building before the Better Block project



Corner building during the Better Block project


Another highlight was the rain garden created by Larry Clark. For years he had discussed building a rain garden to help filter the silt and oil from the streets before it enters San Antonio’s river. In a span of days, a functioning rain garden was completed for under $1,000 that will stay in the area now permanently.


There were so many individuals and organizations that helped pull this together that it’s nearly impossible to acknowledge them all without overlooking some.

  1. City of San Antonio

  2. Metro Health

  3. LOOP

  4. PASA

  5. San Antonio Museum of Art

  6. Milberger Nursery

  7. Peerless Farms

  8. Bender Wells Clark Landscape Architects

  9. TBG

  10. Overland Partners

  11. Cross Real Estate

  12. Mac Riddick Properties

  13. Green Alliance

  14. Chili Queens

  15. Borderlinea

  16. Fresh Urban Flowers

  17. Alamo Brewery

  18. Espumoso

  19. Core Continuum

  20. Lynn Knapik Real Estate


Image from My San Antonio News




Area car lot before the Better Block project



Area car lot after the Better Block project


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