Inspired to leave his home town of Oak Cliff in Dallas a better place, Jason Roberts assembled local artists, business owners, restaurateurs and volunteers to create a vibrant neighborhood center. His continuing efforts reformed several other parks, streets, and public spaces into communal gathering places, which unintentionally caused a global movement.
Jason Roberts was the founder of the Oak Cliff Transit Authority, originator of the Better Block Project, co-founder of the Art Conspiracy and Bike Friendly Oak Cliff, and recent candidate for U.S. Congress. In 2006, Jason formed the nonprofit organization Oak Cliff Transit Authority to revive the Dallas streetcar system, and later spearheaded the city's effort in garnering a $23 million dollar TIGER stimulus grant from the FTA to help reintroduce a modern streetcar system to Dallas.
In 2010, Jason wanted to build a legacy in his own hometown of Oak Cliff, on the south side of Dallas. Pooling resources of local artists, business owners, restaurateurs, landscapers, and ore, Jason and his co-founder were able to temporarily re-vision the area and show the potential to create an inviting and vibrant neighborhood center. In one day, Jason and his team converted the neighborhood into a temporary walking district with pop-up businesses, bike lanes, café seating, and lush landscaping. The event attracted thousands of residents and gave a much-needed and long-term economic boost to the area. The success of the endeavor led to the founding of the Better Block Project, and the organization and its nationwide accomplishments have been featured in The New York Times and The Washington Post, on National Public Radio, and more.
In 2011, the American Society of Landscape Architects bestowed a National Honor Award to Team Better Block, while heralding the Better Block Project as “a 21st-century version of what the Chicago World’s Fair did in 1893.” In 2012, Team Better Block was showcased in the U.S. Pavilion at the Venice Biennale.