What would you like to see happen in your neighborhood? More bike lanes? More public art? How about more retail and green spaces? Coming at the end of this September Detroit will be energized with the chance to decide how they want their blocks to develop through The Better Block Project.
The Better Block project started in Dallas in 2010 when co-founder Jason Roberts realized that there “were no places to “linger” in his community.” Roberts decided that there was a need to fix this and he aimed to be the catalyst that would spur a more walkable, bikeable city. If neighborhoods are saturated with amenities such as new businesses it can create a feeling of togetherness in a space as it creates a more walkable and “local community.” Instead of cranking up your car you would now be able to walk to the store and on your way you may run into your neighbors or someone you have never met before. These interactions create a strong, more intimate community.
Roberts hopes to inspire the means for a healthy community, enable economic development and encourage people to care for their own streets. Another goal of The Better Block Project is to encourage place for people’s voices within the community. This lends the chance for all to express their visions for their block in ways such as new restaurants, businesses, musicians, artists, street-lighting, bike lanes, food vendors, café style seating and much more.
The project will be partnering with the Detroit Design Festival, Wayne State University and U.S. Green Building Council’s Detroit Regional Chapter and will be taking place from September 22-23 in the midst of the Detroit Design Festival.
Located on E. Grand Blvd and St. Antoine, they’ll require a lot of help from the community to make it possible including volunteers to come up with innovative ideas and reform the block, vendors to sell food, art and retail products, and donations of repurposed materials to use for the projects. From August 26 to September 21 they will have multiple dates for volunteers to participate in preparation work days in order to get ready for the Better Block Weekend during the Detroit Design Festival. The work will include weeding, litter removal, general clean up, building rain gardens and much more. If you can contribute to the revitalization of the block and lend your time be sure to email email@example.com to RSVP.
Source: Mode Shift: Move Together