Photography provided by Taylor Kuhn, Diane Bezucha and Samantha Asher

Building Blocks brings neighbors together to explore shared problems like waste issues in Flatbush where neighbors lead their own projects.

We see resources in our neighborhood that can be recycled into new ideas, mini-infrastructures, and ways of living. These resources are called "commons", and are available to us all. They can include unused or public spaces, discarded materials, skills, cooperation, even time.

We believe the commons are the key to strengthening communities, because they can help us create value together, here in our own neighborhood.


Our Mission

Is threefold. First, we seek to bring neighbors together in collaboration as a resilience strategy in the face of insecurities off all kinds, including financial, social, and ecological stress. Second, by re-engaging with ourselves and our neighbors in creative re-imagination, we are tapping into a well of strength and possibility at our doorstep. Third, by focusing on issues (like waste) that we share across age and cultural groups, we come together on the same team, building a vibrant future for each of us, rather than isolated groups.

The commons is….

....A social system for the long-term stewardship of resources that preserves shared values and community identity....
— David Bollier, News and Perspectives on the Commons

What We've Achieved

  • Over three hundred neighbors participated in research and pop-up workshops.
  • Over one hundred neighbors have signed up to participate in hands-on workshops
  • Collaborations with Community Board 14, the FDC, DSNY, and other grassroots organizations.
  • 21 out of 25 people surveyed throughout Flatbush said they would like to be more connected to their neighbors.
  • Out of 25 people, 11 people chose "10" out of a scale of 1-10 of whether they thought neighbors should take more hands-on management of their neighborhoods.