To citymakers, Team Better Block are the urban planning experts who unlock the interest and creativity of the public with a process that designs for community, connection, and commerce from the ground up.
Team Better Block was founded in 2010 by Jason Roberts and Andrew Howard, as a transportation and placemaking focused public outreach firm that temporarily re-engineers auto-dominated, blighted, and underused urban areas into vibrant centers. Since then, The Better Block approach has been used in over two hundred cities around the world to illustrate rapid street changes and community revitalization. These cities have reported greater understanding and urgency by elected officials, leaders, and citizens for permanent change. Team Better Block’s work was featured in the 2012 Venice Biennale and has been spotlighted in The New York Times, The Washington Post, and Dwell Magazine.
When Andrew first began Team Better Block and started painting his own bike lanes he thought he might end up in jail or at-least be stripped of his planning certification. He now has achieved international awards for the firm’s work and has clients from industry leading organizations.
Andrew is the principal of Team Better Block and one of the original founders of the Build a Better Block project. Alongside his neighbors he built the first two Better Blocks in Dallas, Texas and pioneered the idea of using pop up demonstrations as an urban planning method. Over the past eight years he and his team have refined how Better Block fits into community outreach, revitalization, complete streets and public space planning and design projects. Now having been used in over 150 communities from Sydney, Australia to Bethel, Vermont Better Block is seen as an alternative to the typical design and defend urban planning method of the past.
The design of your Better Block will come from Hayrettin, who is especially attuned to listening to the needs of a community and coming up with a design solution that is both functional and beautiful. His design foundation began in the streets of Istanbul, challenged at Harvard and refined on the road with Team Better Block. If you can dream it, Hayrettin can design it and build it.
Hayrettin is an architect and urbanist from Istanbul. He holds a Master in Architecture in Urban Design degree with Distinction from the Harvard Graduate School of Design. His work has been highlighted at the 2nd Istanbul Design Biennale, MoMA’s “Uneven Growth” and Vitra Exhibition “Caution! Slippery Ground”.
As project manager, Jonathan will be the day to day contact for your Better Block. He handles public outreach, sets the schedule and keeps the project moving forward. He is skilled in communications, data management and can swing a hammer with the best of them. His background in IT, bicycle advocacy and general get it done attitude prepared him for this position. He has been recognized as 20 of the metro area’s most interesting characters in 2015 by the Dallas Observer.
A local Oak Cliff advocate for better bicycle infrastructure, Jonathan was one of the original Better Block’s community volunteers that helped put the design/build concept to work. He’s worked to get more bicycle infrastructure implemented on Dallas’ aging roadways, presiding as the first Dallas Bicycle Coalition president and board member of Bike Friendly Oak Cliff. He’s the business owner of Oak Cliff Cargo Bicycles and founder of the Bicycle Brewery Tour.
Layne is a project planner for Team Better Block, small business entrepreneur and ice cream aficionado. His work crosses between planning and design and will provide support to your project with innovative material sourcing and creative street and public space design. Prior to consulting Layne worked for Oklahoma City’s Plaza District and the City of Norman’s Development department. His graduate thesis focused on the role a signature bicycle and pedestrian network in Oklahoma City could have in creating a more healthy and connected city. He holds a Master of Science in Architecture and a Bachelor’s degree in Public Affairs and Administration from the University of Oklahoma.