Talk is Cheap? Well, maybe not…

Jason Roberts will share ideas that empower residents like us to make our neighborhoods better. You can’t miss this!

Building Community. Two powerful words offering more than just a catchphrase here in Charlotte, rather an opportunity for all of us (who live here) to get and give ideas on how to make our city better and address key issues related to our built environment.

The new speaker series brought to us by city government, Center City Partners and the Knight Foundation helps explore what we can do together and how we can do it.

Building Community CLT brings national thought leaders to Charlotte to share ideas to improve neighborhoods.

This speaker series isn’t just for talking. It empowers local residents with ideas on how we can work with those around us to help improve our neighborhoods.

Think protected bike lanes, public art, pop-up shops and lighting. When Jason Roberts, IT specialist turned neighborhood advocate and reviver, comes to Charlotte on July 11, he plans share some easy ideas that we can each take into our neighborhoods to create our own “better blocks.”

Jason Roberts, founder of Better Blocks, will share ideas with Charlotte residents on July 11 at Spirit Square.

Jason’s Better Block Project started in 2010 in Dallas, bringing together a group of friends, community organizers, neighbors and property owners to revitalize a single block in an underutilized neighborhood corridor, with very little money.

For years, we had been told that Dallas didn’t have the culture to embrace a walkable, urban environment — that it’s too hot, that people are too accustomed to driving and that no one would come. What we saw that day challenged everything we’d been told. — Roberts

The group brought together common supplies to convert the block into a walkable and bikeable destination with bike lanes, café seating, trees, plants, pop-up businesses and lighting intent to demonstrate how the block could be revived to improve safety, health and economics.

People walked to the street, sat outside, drank coffee and read newspapers. Flowers hung from window sills, old men played chess, children made art in former auto shops, teens pedaled in freshly painted bike lanes, residents began volunteering in our pop-up shops, and musicians appeared unexpectedly with open guitar cases and performed on street corners. The street came roaring back to life. — Roberts
In 24 hours and with less than $1,000, we built our dream block and disproved the skeptics. Most notably, we learned that a vision is fruitless without action. — Roberts

Jason’s focus on revitalizing neighborhoods was recognized with a Champions of Change award from the White House in 2012.

Better Block techniques can be used right here in Charlotte. We just need people to help make the ideas a reality.

Join us to hear Jason’s story, July 11, at McGlohon Theater at Spirit Square. Get inspired and learn how to apply Better Block ideas in your neighborhood. Learn more about the Building Community CLT Speaker Series.