Jason Roberts of Dallas, Texas shares his story on “how to build a better block.” Following a trip to various European cities about 10 years ago, Roberts was struck by the livability of European city streets and public spaces – by bike, by foot, as well as spaces and places for the young and old to linger. He came back to Oak Cliff, Texas (a district of Dallas) with new visions for his city: to revamp the city’s historic architecture, to inspire the re-introduction of street cars, bring outdoor cafes and green spaces, and build a cycling reputation. With persistence and creativity, he has helped to turn the city-district around – one neighbourhood block at a time. Roberts states, “I am not the leader of a bicycling movement… but I became one. And this is what I tell people all the time: if you are passionate about something, you are probably going to become a leader, because that passion will be broadcasted to the community and people are going to want to get behind you….So take that charge and run with it.”
Roberts recommends three steps to help change your community:
- Show up – bring your skills
- Give it a name – identity
- Set a date and publish it – commit to change
- And I will add a fourth one – watch the video!