Photo of Main Street in Akron, Ohio by Flickr user Kevin T. Quinn.
Have you heard the term Better Block? It’s spreading fast here in Akron these days. Google “Better Block, Akron Ohio” and you’ll see nine different references.
The Better Block is a community development demonstration tool that uses grassroots efforts to show residents the potential to create a walkable, bikeable, lively, neighborhood center. The project helps residents envision “what could be,” with temporary “pop-up” businesses, bicycle lanes and pedestrian friendly design. Better Blocks are being performed in cities around the world, and have helped communities rapidly implement neighborhood improvements that can become permanent.
The Knight Foundation and Team Better Block have begun laying the groundwork for their first collaboration with the city of Akron. The North Hill neighborhood has been selected for the city’s first Better Block, and residents, business owners, and city staff have partnered to prepare the Temple Square block (Cuyahoga Falls Avenue and Main Street) for this transformation.
Posted in Community, Neighborhoods
Tagged Akron, Akronist, AMATS, “pop-up” businesses, Better Block, Bikeable, Cities, City Transformation, Collaboration, Community Development, Economic Activity in an area, Grassroots, Innovative, International Institute, Jason Roberts, Knight Foundation, Neighborhood Center, Neighborhood Improvements, nonprofits, North Hill, philanthropic community, private sector, public sector, Rebuild, Revitalized, Switching Gears, Team Better Block, Urban Vision, Visionary, Walkable
By Katie Sobiech
Urban Vision Ministry has been serving and educating their neighborhood for 20 years now. Not many couples take on such an adventurous task as Rodney and his wife Jodi Matthews.
Their programs (which continue to grow) include education, outreach, leadership development, electives, economy & stores, and housing.
“We’re trying to take a holistic approach. These are the kids of the future. It’s all about the next generation. It’s developing them spiritually, educationally and vocationally to be the next generation, living in the community, making the changes. They can be more effective than we can because they’re from the community, growing up here,” Rodney Matthews, President & Executive Director of Urban Vision Ministry (UVM), said.
“We have a multi-ethnic, diverse group. We have a lot of Karen refugees, a lot of African Americans. We have Caucasians,” Matthews continued.
Posted in Neighborhoods, Sustainability
Tagged Aquaponics, Business, Education, Fish, Food, Plant, Rodney Matthews, Urban Vision, Urban Vision Ministry, UVM