Tomorrow, Garfield Park is hosting a Better Blocks event, where residents collaborate with urbanists to activate streets. This is the second year the neighborhood is hosting this event. Last year, Graeme Sharpe and I attended the Better Blocks event in the Englewood neighborhood and had a great time. I hope to be able to attend this tomorrow. Here is the information on this year’s event that I received from a reader:
Garfield Park Neighborhood Hosts Second Better Block Event, June 28
Event to Focus on the Potential to Create a Vibrant Neighborhood Center
Indianapolis, Ind. – On June 28, the Garfield Park neighbors will host the second neighborhood Better Block from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The 2014 Garfield Park Better Block will transform the Garfield Park Village into a thriving, connected business corridor along Shelby Street and Southern Ave.
The Better Block project is a demonstration tool that temporarily redesigns an area to show the potential to create a vibrant neighborhood center. This one day “pop-up” block will give community members and visitors a taste of what this area could be by transforming the village.
This community event is hosted by the Garfield Park South Neighborhood Association and Garfield Park Neighbors Association, in partnership with Big Car. The committee working on the project, headed by Donna Lund Jacobsen, is seeking support from other local communities and neighbors to help make this vision come to life.
“There are a lot of exciting things happening in our neighborhood and we want to keep up the momentum by organizing our second Better Block,” said Donna Lund Jacobsen, Better Block Chairperson. “The neighbors of Garfield Park have a deep passion to make this project a success and now we need the support of our surrounding neighbors and friends.”
This free event will provide the opportunity to share ideas about how to develop this space into an area we can all enjoy. Visitors will also get a sneak-peek at a newly renovated, but well-known restaurant, The Garfield Park Eatery and Coffee Shop, opening early this summer under new ownership. Located in the heart of the Garfield Park Village, “The Garf”, will be serving breakfast, lunch, dinner. The new owners and local neighbors, Dan Sassano and David Sanchez,are very excited to re-open this restaurant and hope that the June 28 Better Block will bring greater awareness to the possibilities of this neighborhood.
“We were involved in the first Garfield Park Better Block and that event gave us the confidence to take on this amazing opportunity to re-open The Garfield Park Eatery and Coffee Shop,” said Dan Sassano, restaurant owner and local resident. “We wanted to do something for ourselves and also for the neighborhood. The atmosphere will be casual and comfortable—where people will feel at home.”
Garfield Park Better Block is part of a larger effort with Better Block projects now being performed throughout the country. The goal is to allow cities to rapidly implement infrastructure and policy changes that spur community revitalization. This project is beyond simply being a street festival or even a beautification effort. It actively questions outdated concepts and current development standards that maybe stifling the very development our community wants to encourage.
“Community leaders, local business owners, historians and volunteers have all helped in the planning for this project to remake the Garfield Park Village,” said Justin Moed, State Representative, House District 97 and local resident.
Residents from Garfield Park and surrounding communities are invited to visit Garfield Park during the Better Block to interact with a redesigned village and offer feedback. The event will provide live music, food trucks, beer garden, dedicated bike lanes and easy to use cross walks, retail shops, kids’ activities and more.
What is a Better Block Project?
A Better Block project is an approach to revitalization that begins with temporarily transforming a city block into a vibrant destination that illustrates the potential for new businesses, safer streets and improved livability. The result is a vision for an authentic place and the momentum needed to make it happen permanently. – betterblock.org