GOOD 100: Meet Jason Roberts, Giving New Life to Underutilized Areas
Jason Roberts grew his organization, Better Block, from a small local project in Dallas, Texas to an international movement in the course of a year. Better Block mobilizes community members in a given area to build a kind of demonstration—a vision of what an underutilized area could be—by bringing pop-up stores, street furniture, green spaces, and vibrant outdoor events that provide a clearly superior alternative to the way things were before.
Better Block has already been imitated in 15 cities across the country, and is scheduled to bring its “complete streets” approach to new projects in Canada, Afghanistan, and Australia.
“We're discussing a series of Better Block urban revitalization projects throughout the state of Victoria, Australia,” Roberts says. “Also, we’re advising on a Better Block Tehran project and a Better Block Toronto project.”
Roberts says he hopes to start working in more blighted communities around the world in 2013, setting up Better Blocks in Norfolk, Virginia, and St. Paul, Minnesota. These projects are planned for late second quarter to early third quarter.
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