Five Points Better Block
1803 W Trade St, Charlotte, NC 28216, USA
Neighboring Concept helped organize the Five Points Better Block plaza activation in Charlotte’s Historic West End to dynamically engage the community to provide critical programming feedback for the City’s plaza redesign the Five Points intersection. Such participatory approaches are a key to gaining public trust today, and they build representative input for public projects of great significance to communities who have historically remained under-represented during public processes, if not entirely disconnected. A Better Block is a community-driven preview of a desired place or block activation project in a community. Using provisional means, it evaluates a potential set of transformations to create people-centered places that allow communities to enjoy neighborhood life.
Just as important as the space itself, maintenance and programming are vital to the long-term success of Five Points Plaza as a destination. The plaza spaces will be reviewed further to make sure many types of events can occur throughout the year and that the spaces existing City or County Departments can adequately maintain them. Reflecting the input received at the August 24th Programming Roundtable, thus, the design team’s Conceptual Plan provided the basis of the Five Point Plaza Better Block - a plaza activation previewing the plan’s various elements and testing programming for them. Conducted on November 17-18, 2017, the Better Block is both the first temporary CNIP project preview for the City of Charlotte as well as the first employment of “tactical urbanism” associated with a CNIP project. Sponsored by the Knight Foundation and the City of Charlotte, and in partnership with the Historic West End Initiative, the Better Block Foundation was hired to advise the local community to plan and program the plaza preview and to lend their expert support and design resources to implement the Better Block.
City of Charlotte