In April of 2010, we organized our first “Better Block” project, where we identified a blighted block in Dallas, Texas, and revisioned into an active, viable destination. The project took place over two days, involved multiple businesses, residents, and non-profit organizations, and lead to a complete new model for cities to utilize when looking to revive communities. The benefits included heightened perception of safety, increased economic development, enabling of multi-modal transit options, and a heightened quality of life for the community. A block that was once gray and cut-off, was reactivated. Storefronts that had sat vacant for years were filled with business, residents sat outdoors and enjoyed the space, and the city has now looked to change its existing ordinances to allow for more Better Block projects to help other blighted areas.
To date, several cities have now begun their own Better Block projects, and we’re now seeing an active push to use this model as the next major tool in planning. View the video below to see the project that started it all.[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hdZpJ5MwbqA&feature=player_embedded]