Inspired and informed by the tactical urbanist approach of Build a Better Block (inexpensive, temporary redesign and reimagining of an underperforming and auto-centric commercial strip), Big Car led two Better Block efforts on the commercial sections of Shelby Street north (2013) and south (2014) of the park located in the neighborhood. The Big Car team also assisted with a Better Block on Washington Street in 2013, offering ideas and assets used in the first Better Block in Garfield Park to the Inglewood Neighborhood organization. And we helped bring Better Block co-founder Andrew Howard to both neighborhoods for a mini workshop.
The Better Block efforts in Garfield Park led to strengthening the community and contributed to business development in the corridor, including the opening of a new restaurant/coffee shop and Big Car opening its own facility (in October of 2015) in a location used for the 2014 Better Block. These three one-day placemaking demonstrations attracted more than 1,500 people and involved 300-plus volunteers and community partners.
To learn more about Better Block, watch this TEDx video by co-founder Jason Roberts.