The Better Block

Changes happened this weekend in Clovelly Rd, Sydney, Australia. Small, community inspired changes with a hopefully massive impact. Going from this…

clovelly better block

to this…

clovelly better block

The first Sydney Better Block project was the occasion- a community driven event that from everyone’s accounts, was a huge success.


The inspiring man behind it all, Phill Stubbs.

Clovelly Road Better Block transform a street for a day. The aims are to: 
– bring the community together 
– encourage people to re-imagine their street 
– invite them to add their ideas 
– show civic leaders the need for action 
– get improvements made permanently 
– inspire others to push for change in their street. 

clovelly better block
clovelly better block
Our goal after the event is a permanent liveable street. We will be going back to Council with market research from the Better Block day and pushing for permanent changes. In fact we’re keen to see this rolled out at the other little villages on Clovelly Road. 
Our vision for 2025 is to connect the villages on Clovelly Road and create a green corridor that runs from Centennial Park to the Pacific Ocean. (Yes it’s a bold vision, but if we, the community, don’t really think about our street, who in government will?)
clovelly better block

Blink and you would have missed the very popular burrito’s- a sell out!

clovelly better block

Making the block, “greener, safer, more human

clovelly better block

Everyone’s favourite green man, Costa.

clovelly better block

‘The “Better Block” project is a demonstration tool that rebuilds an area using grassroots efforts to show the potential to create a great walkable, vibrant neighborhood center. The project acts as a living charrette so that communities can actively engage in the “complete streets” buildout process and develop pop-up businesses to show the potential for revitalized economic activity in an area. Better Blocks are now being performed around the world, and have helped cities rapidly implement infrastructure and policy changes.’           – THE BETTER BLOCK PROJECT

This video explains the concept and how they did it in San Antonio, USA.

For more details on other projects, or how to start your own see- The Better Block

For Clovelly Road’s Better Block Project full media release see here

For a recent article in The Age and The Better Block in High St, Coburg, Victoria.

19 thoughts on “The Better Block

  1. I am SO enthusiastic about this! Taking back our streets in a more literal way than damage control. What an amazing concept! Anyone can do this…a group of regular common, or garden variety “folks” can get down and dirty and form a lobby group and hassle the heck out of councils around Australia and facilitate positive, healthy, sustainable and amazingly AWESOME change. Cheers so much for this wonderful post. I am over the moon crampackedfull of possibilities and it’s not even 7am. What a way to start the day! 🙂


      • Your post really excited me and I have decided to see if we can’t develop a bit of local community in our tiny little town and surrounding tiny little towns. We might not be urban but we could all do with sharing what we know. Thinking about approaching the local council to get the local (almost completely unused) hall cheap and maybe start a gardening/permaculture group, a baking circle and maybe a crafty type get together. The start of a good community comes from people sitting down and “chewing the fat” together. Your post really did inspire me 🙂


      • Oh that makes me so happy to read that! Have a look at some transition town groups, they may have some templates that you can run with to get the groups up and running. Anything like you’ve such mentioned would be a wonderful community building experience. “Crafternoons”, seed swapping, a bake off, trade days, what ever you do, I hope it’s ten buckets of awesome Narf.


  2. I love this story. I think it is the way to go , instead of waiting for things to happen…..make them happen. A beautiful, beautiful idea. You know , this is one of the things that city people do really well….if I tried to do this in my country town,it would not work as well .


    • Try it Kim, see if it does 🙂 I think no matter where you are, there are people that are willing to get involved and others that will find the negative in everything no matter what you do. The difference in city dwellers, is that there are just so many more of them in high density living so the odds of someone at least standing up and by you is more likely (hopefully!)


  3. Pingback: Mayfield Better Block | cityhippyfarmgirl

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