Click here to learn about the 2024 AARP Community Challenge — and apply by March 6, 2024.

Nearby AARP Community Challenge Grantees

Chicago, IL

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2018

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: To promote walkability, economic development and better quality of life for residents, the Chicago Department of Transportation created a replicable prototype for a People Spot. Consisting of a wooden platform, the People Spots transform on-street parking spaces into outdoor patios. To help neighborhood groups set up their own People Spots, the City published construction plans and an assembly manual for the parklets online. Part of the City's Livable Streets Program, organizers say the temporary infrastructure helps neighborhoods overcome economic hardship by encouraging residents to walk and frequent local businesses. The City installed its first People Spot in the South Side Chatham neighborhood in 2018. That iteration measured about six feet wide by 20 feet long, but the platforms can be as long as 80 feet.

Evanston, IL

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2020

Project Category: Accessory dwelling units, tiny homes and manufactured housing

Description: To help mitigate housing affordability challenges, the City of Evanston created a digital guide for homeowners looking to build accessory dwelling units to their property. Written in partnership with the Evanston Development Cooperative, the guide covers zoning, financing, design and construction, as well as information about who typically lives in ADUs. Additionally, the City hosted a webinar on ADU construction, which it recorded and posted on its website. In fall 2020, the City updated its ADU ordinance to give homeowners more flexibility, allowing them to create separate housing units either attached to or within their existing homes. Project organizers say the guidebook has helped spread the word about the update. ADU construction in Evanston has increased since the guidebook's publication and City has worked to make model ADU blueprints available to residents.

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