Glass House Collective

Better Block

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How do you convince people that change is possible? You engage them in the process.

Glass House Collective has been acting upon the belief that Glass Street has the potential to become a thriving commercial corridor and vibrant urban neighborhood. We have adopted the theory that creative, physical, and community-driven investment produces real and lasting results.

Following a nationally recognized model of public re-visioning, GHC facilitated a Build a Better Block event on February 23.

Over the course of four months, teams of residents, artists, architects, and supporters of the Glass Street community partnered with one another to build planters and plant trees, paint storefronts and build out pop-up shops, design and paint crosswalks and murals, schedule a series of event activities for all ages, and install community banners to showcase the new Glass Street brand.

And then, on February 23, their hard work paid off. More that 1,200 people filled the street. They shared food, browsed pop-up shops, danced to music, and created together. They watched as artist Charlie Brouwer attached the last of the 452 ladders to the Rise Up sculpture. The sense of pride and accomplishment among those who made the event possible was truly contagious. Better Block successfully proved this is not a forgotten neighborhood and life can return to vacant urban spaces.

Outcome:
1200 People Attended
8 Pop-up shops and commercial venues
$2,600 Estimated total vendor revenue
19 temporary murals installed
800 Children engaged creating artwork
200 Glass Street brand T-shirts distributed

Media:
Times Free Press, Better Block Reviving Glass Street
WRCB ,Glass House Collective continues work for a ‘Better Block’ on Glass Street
WTVC, Volunteers Build a Better Block East Chattanooga
WDEF, Glass Street Area Getting Much Needed Face Lift
WUTC NPR, Transforming Glass Street from Outside In
Barlew.com, Urbanism in Chattanooga
Better Block Video