It's "taking the idea of community redevelopment and putting it into the hands of average citizens," co-chairwoman Allison Barta Bailey tells the Journal Record. "It's about people. So by taking over the block for a day, making it a place where people want to be, we can create a vision of what people might want everyday," organizer Leslie Batchelor says to the Oklahoman. Better Block OKC is just what the name implies, a part of the continuing campaign to revitalize Oklahoma City.
Sponsored by the Urban Land Institute Oklahoma, Better Block OKC will turn a row of vacant MidTown buildings at NW 7th and Hudson into a temporary commercial hotspot filled with "popup" shops for local merchants, art displays, sidewalk dining and even a dog park. The event runs May 18th from 6-10 p.m. and May 19th from 10 a.m. - 6 p.m., the first of what organizers hope will become an annual affair. If all goes as planned, not only will visitors have a lot of fun, but they will be inspired to realize the true value of underutilized streets around the city.
Work began weeks ago, but volunteers are still needed. If you want to get involved, see BetterBlockOKC.com or the initiative's Facebook page. Specifically, they are looking for those with interest in street art/artists, construction projects, temporary gardening/re-purposed planters, bicycle infrastructure/activities or any other creative project ideas. Also, every Tuesday from 6 to 9 p.m. is a volunteer night for anyone and everyone to simply show up and help out.
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