Case Studies

Dallas: Better Block Demos

In April 2010, a group of community organizers, neighbors, and property owners gathered together to revitalize a single commercial block in the Dallas neighborhood of Oak Cliff. The area had many vacant properties and wide streets, and few amenities for residents who lived within a walking distance of the commercial corridor. The Better Block coalition created an “urban intervention,” using temporary tools—bike lanes, cafe seating, trees, plants, pop-up businesses, and lighting— to transform the block into a walkable, bikeable neighborhood destination for people of all ages.

The coalition built upon that April urban intervention in September, 2010, when it collaborated with the landscape architects SWA Group and Methany Landscaping to build a temporary green median and place (potted) street trees along the same block. Volunteers painted cross walks, striped bike lanes, and installed (temporary) bike parking, and food-stall vendors set up shop in vacant lots between buildings. The installation took one day to set up on site, lasted one day, attracted hundreds of visitors. Based on the enthusiastic public response to the two one-day temporary demonstration projects, the City of Dallas funded $500,000 worth of improvements in the area.

This material is the product of a partnership between America Walks and Sam Schwartz Engineering. Visit here for more information on the partnership.