Podcast #36 – East Side Better Block with Andrew Howard


A temporary “Better Block” bus stop on East 7th Street in Saint Paul.

This podcast this week is a conversation with Andrew Howard, one of the founders of the Better Block Project. Better Block is an example of tactical urbanism, which describes a series of approaches to planning, placemaking, and community outreach that encourages experimentation, temporary installations, and improvisiation for urban designers and neighborhood planners. Andrew Howard is one of the founders of the Better Block planning consulting organization, which started a few years ago in Dallas Texas.

Andrew and I met up last weekend during one a Better Block event on East 7th Street in Saint Paul. The city sponsored Andrew’s team to come and set up their project on a two block area of the East Side, where they temporarily transformed streets and public spaces using little more than duct tape, used pallets, and volunteers. We chatted about the history of Better Block, different types of community engagement, and what tactical urbanism approach may offer cities in the future.

Link to the audio is here. Subscribe to the chain letter on iTunes.

Bill Lindeke

About Bill Lindeke

Pronouns: he/him

Bill Lindeke has writing blogging about sidewalks and cities since 2005, ever since he read Jane Jacobs. He is a lecturer in Urban Studies at the University of Minnesota Geography Department, the Cityscape columnist at Minnpost, and has written multiple books on local urban history. He was born in Minneapolis, but has spent most of his time in St Paul. Check out Twitter @BillLindeke or on Facebook.