See More Projects Like This One

Louisville, KY

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2020

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: This project made a series of placemaking improvements to the Woodlawn Avenue business district, located in the Beechmont neighborhood. First, the Center for Neighborhoods added pedestrian-level lighting along the street to improve safety. They also converted three parking spaces into an outdoor cafe space. Originally meant to be temporary, the picnic area's popularity spurred project organizers to create Louisville's first permanent parklet in the spot, which includes a deck, seating, a green wall and planter boxes. Beautification efforts also included activating a nearby alleyway. That included painting a mural for the space, which community members named Beechmont Alley. New, accessible parking spaces helped make the corridor more welcoming to people of all ability levels.

Milwaukee, WI

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2020

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: This project contributed to efforts to revitalize a park, creating a safe, outdoor gathering for residents of Milwaukee's Historic King Drive neighborhood. Improvements included bollards with solar-powered lights, accessible picnic tables, trash receptacles and orange benches branded with the name of the neighborhood. Additionally, the BID convened an art task force and used tax increment financing to fund a new mural in the neighborhood. The success of the project also build momentum for branding efforts in nearby neighborhoods.

Gary, IN

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2018

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: Residents of Genesis Towers -- an affordable housing complex for older adults -- often congregated in a vacant lot in Gary's downtown. This project set out to activate the lot into an accessible gathering space. Local students worked to gather input from residents about their hopes for the new park, and the City held design workshops. Plans for the space featured ADA-accessible walkways, seating, picnic tables and raised garden beds. Organizers also worked to provide free Wi-Fi access in the space, as well as a bike repair station. Organizers say the park is designed to host free or low-cost events -- part of the overarching goal of combatting social isolation through innovative public spaces.

Nearby AARP Community Challenge Projects

Gooding, ID

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2020

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: The Gooding Public Library Foundation converted an unused area of West Park into a community commons. Located near Gooding's library, city hall and police station, the site now features accessible picnic tables, shade canopies and lidded trash cans. The library now uses the site for a variety of activities, including story time and science experiments. Library patrons, workers on lunch break and other community members also gather in the space. The library now plans to install a little free library in the park.

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