Urban Fold

Better Block Goes Small Town

From Dallas to Denver, Las Vegas to Oklahoma City... and now tiny North Adams, Mass. The wildly successful Better Block model has primarily spawned projects in large urban areas, but small towns are starting to pay attention.

In April, students at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts launched "Eagle Street Rising" - a project to remake a street in North Adams, MA's (pop. ~13,000) tiny downtown using ideas and principles from the Better Block Project, reports Edward Damon.

Students in a Green Living Seminar worked from December-April to brainstorm, plan and pull off this one-day event, which is one of the first Better Block events in a small town.

"Students in the class were split into groups to work on different components of the project, including growing flowers to be placed on the street and organizing live street music...One of the most popular features of the event were several 'parklets' along the street, which turned parking spots into an extension of the sidewalk....Another popular component was the One Day Cafe, a 'pop-up business' in an empty building at 19 Eagle St., which provided complimentary coffee and pastries for attendees."

Full Story: MCLA students unveil ‘Eagle Street Rising' project to show how to revitalize city blocks

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