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Better Block = Disruption

beth-circle-head Beth Heller

On September 21 and 22, On Broadway Inc. will launch a Build a Better Block event on the west side of Green Bay’s downtown.  Straight out of the tactical urbanism play book, this event focuses on taking one short stretch of downtown roadway and completely transforming it over the course of two days, with one day focused on activating the community to build the new streetscape and the next day inviting the community to enjoy the new, enhanced space.  

It’s going to be pretty cool…

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This event will have all the hallmarks of tactical urbanism we discussed last week, including a labor force sourced from local stakeholders and a shoestring budget that forces builders to be creative, thrifty and strategic.  While the event will last just two days, the overarching goal is to create a model for sustainable city design and to prompt a discussion among city residents about how we want our cities to function, and perhaps more importantly, provide a taste of what designated bike lanes and “parklets” actually provide in terms of ambiance, social connection, and even traffic and noise calming.  

In addition, Chris Thomas, an intern at On Broadway with an emphasis on urban design, intends to do some hypothesis testing that might provide more objective data points.  Throughout the time of his internship, he has been measuring sound levels in the On Broadway District, and hypothesizes that sound levels will fall during the Better Block event.  The team is also considering asking area merchants to keep a customer count during the event to see if this sort of urban design shift has an impact on walk-in traffic.

Where are you seeing disruptive thinking in Greater Green Bay?  Share it with us here!

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