In this keynote lecture from the Experimental Cities conference, 2017, Jason Roberts talks about the history of the Better Block Project with case studies from projects around the world. He shows how the project has been able to grow communities and bottom-up placemaking initiatives.
Jason Roberts is the founder of the Oak Cliff Transit Authority, founder of the original Better Block Project, co-founder of Art Conspiracy and Bike Friendly Oak Cliff, and candidate for US Congress.
In 2006, Jason formed the non-profit organization Oak Cliff Transit Authority to revive the Dallas streetcar system, and later spearheaded the city’s effort in garnering a $23 Million dollar TIGER stimulus grant from the FTA to help reintroduce a modern streetcar system to Dallas. In 2010, Jason organized a series of “Better Block” projects, taking blighted blocks with vacant properties in Southern Dallas and converting them into temporary walkable districts with pop-up businesses, bike lanes, cafe seating, and landscaping.
The project has now become an international movement and has been featured in the New York Times, Dwell magazine, TED Talks and on NPR. Team Better Block was showcased in the US Pavillion at the 2012 Venice Biennale.