On Saturday, September 27th 2014, Downtown Phoenix experienced the very first Better Block project. A collaboration between Downtown advocates and advocacy groups like Phoenix Spokes People and This Could Be PHX, Better Block activated two blocks in Downtown Phoenix for a single day – until the storm of the century shut it down, blowing down trees and power lines and nearly blowing away tents and public art. But even still, the Better Block event was a complete success. Why?
Because for three hours, two blocks along 1st Street between Pierce and Garfield represented a complete street, drawing in people and activating nearly the entire stretch of blocks. Pedestrians walking along the street were drawn in by a number of activities and people driving by had a reason to park their cars and get out and experience the city. All of this was done by simply engaging people.
The Better Block movement began in Dallas as an attempt to renew a block in an underused neighborhood. This grassroots demonstration proved extremely successful and its founder, Jason Roberts, turned it into a national movement. Learn more about the original Better Block here and watch our video recap below of what took place in Phoenix.