Better Block

Here’s some Friday afternoon inspiration for you: Better Block. Jason Roberts is from Dallas, Texas. He lives in a suburb called Oak Cliff, which was always considered the bad part of town. On a trip to Europe a decade ago, Roberts began thinking about urban design – he was inspired by the piazzas in southern Europe, and the bike infrastructure in the north.

When he returned home, he took the city into his own – and his friends’ – hands. They reclaimed the curb. And how! They began with an old run down theatre, moved onto the shadeless streetscape and wound up securing a huge $23 million grant to rebuild the old tramline that ran through the area. There are dozens of Better Block projects in cities throughout the USA, and it’s all happened in the last two years.

Watch his breathless TEDx talk. He’s got three tips for people who want to make better blocks, and do it now: 1. Show up. 2. Give your project a name. 3. Set a date for the blitz and publish it.

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