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Nashville, TN

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2019

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: With the goal of reducing social isolation for older residents, Urban Housing Solutions designed and constructed a temporary parklet at Mercury Court, a small affordable housing community close to downtown Nashville. The organization outfitted the outdoor space with patio chairs, picnic tables, planter boxes, solar string lights and shade umbrellas. They also repainted a community room and decorated a wall with graphics celebrating the property's history. To ensure the space enables social interaction, a group of residents worked to coordinate social events, such as movie and game nights and community meals. In addition, Mercury Courts residents have shown interest in using the new planter boxes as garden beds. Urban Housing Solutions is a nonprofit housing developer serving Nashville's unhoused and low-income residents.

Dade City, FL

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2024

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: This project will add picnic tables to areas frequented by older residents. The new tables will be sturdy and ADA compliant and allow residents to gather and enjoy time in nature.

Santa Rosa Beach, FL

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2022

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: This project created a gaming area -- including a ping-pong table, cornhole game and checkers/chess table -- at the Coastal Branch Library in an existing green space.

Nearby AARP Community Challenge Projects

Belchertown, MA

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2019

Project Category: Improved wayfinding

Description: Located near schools and an assisted living community, the Lake Wallace Sensory Trail is designed to welcome trail users of all abilities, including those with limited mobility or sensory issues. The rope-guided trail with Braille markers -- one of four in the state -- serves as a model for future accessible projects. This project added new tactile signs in Braille. Another feature gives visitors the option to lower the new trailhead kiosk to wheelchair height for easy access. Signage along the trail points out intersections, resting spots and information about lake ecology and the site's history. Part of the Belchertown Heritage Trails network, the sensory trail has since attracted more additional and community involvement.

Springfield, MA

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2018

Project Category: Public or private transit access

Description: A lack of benches represented a barrier to older adults using Springfield's public transit system. To make waiting for the bus a more comfortable experience, the Pioneer Valley Transit Authority worked with the local parks and public works departments to install ten benches throughout the city. The Authority engaged residents to inform each bench's aesthetics and placement. They tailored the amenities based on each location's historical and design context. In Court Square -- a neighborhood dating to 1636 -- they installed Victorian-style benches. Elsewhere, they chose a more modern look. Organizers hope the new seating encourages people of all ages and abilities to use public transportation.

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