LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – One central Arkansas neighborhood has been picked as one of the top finalists in a nationally recognized community design film competition geared at creating safer streets for pedestrians.
The movement called, “Better Block Project” is hosted by the American Institute of Architects.
Architects and design professionals are asked to create a short 60-90 minute video showcasing the partnerships with members of their communities to help design healthier, sustainable, neighborhoods that improve peoples’ everyday lives.
“We saw that there was a need for a crosswalk and created it for pedestrians to feel safe when crossing the street,” explains Nikki Crane, an associate architect with studioMAIN, a nonprofit in Little Rock.
For the project, the nonprofit collaborated with several agencies focusing on the Southwest District in Little Rock.
Crane says she saw many changes being done that she believes will impact future generations.
“There are street lights there but they don’t have enough timing for someone to cross so you would literally be sprinting across the street if you were trying to cross the street,” she says. “So we tried to create a safer environment where people could active both sides of that street.”
Crane says the work they do at studioMAIN has many facets with a strong emphasis on being community-oriented. She says their overall mission is to educate people about the role of good public design and how that affects their daily lives.
“Our hope is just that this gets awareness so that people can understand that they can do this too,” says Crane. “They don’t need an architect to help them do this they can work with their city leaders and say this is what we want to do.”
This is the sixth time the American Institute of Architects has hosted this film project. The top-rated film will receive a $5,000 grand prize.
For more information on the project or to vote, click here.