AKRON, Ohio – With a pop-up dog park, outdoor seating, kids area and more, the Barberton Better Block will showcase ideas for activating the city’s Second Street business district.
Hosted by the foundation, the city of Barberton, the South Summit Chamber of Commerce, the Downtown Barberton Merchants Association and many community partners, Barberton Better Block takes place 5-10 p.m. Friday, July 28, and 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, July 29, on Second Street between West Park Avenue and West Lake Avenue.
Throughout the event, community-built installations will provide outdoor seating, temporary plazas, kids’ play areas and an improved bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure.
Better Blocks, which have taken place in North Hill, Middlebury and Cuyahoga Falls, aim to showcase and reactivate neighborhoods, while introducing amenities that help them become more vibrant communities.
The Magic City’s arts district on Tuscarawas Avenue is increasingly active, with art galleries, restaurants, shops and the newly the renovated Magical Theatre Company. Now, the city wants to draw that energy to its Second Street business district.
“This is a good opportunity for people who are used to coming to the lake but don’t realize what’s just one street over,” said Amber Genet, Barberton Community Foundation‘s marketing and communications director. “This will tie the entire downtown together.”
Earlier this year, Better Block organizers gathered feedback from the community to find out what residents want to see and experience downtown. Outdoor seating, activated spaces and outdoor markets were high on residents’ lists, Genet said.
“Better Block is a major catalyst in redevelopment efforts by involving the community from a grass roots perspective,” Barberton Mayor William Judge said in a news release. “We are…