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Charlotte, NC

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2019

Project Category: Improved wayfinding

Description: Sustain Charlotte hoped to build enthusiasm for the concept of ten-minute neighborhoods -- places where people can meet their daily needs without needing to own a car. Based on input from residents of Charlotte's North End, the organization designed and installed 86 wayfinding signs. Each displays a QR code, which visitors can scan with their smartphones to view a map of neighborhood amenities, including parks and recreation centers, schools and public transportation. Following this project, Sustain Charlotte has continued its relationship with North End residents. The North End Community Coalition now serves on the steering committee for the Charlotte Regional Transportation Coalition, which Sustain Charlotte started in 2020. That coalition advocates for equity-centered transportation improvements, which include pedestrian and bike infrastructure. Since then, the City has increased its budget for transportation projects to make biking and walking safer.

Greendale, WI

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2019

Project Category: Improved wayfinding

Description: After gathering feedback from focus groups with residents, the Greendale Health Department installed directional signs and benches along the village's walking trails. A number of local organizations participated, including the Girls Scouts and students from the local school district. With help from the Greendale Women's Club, they also created and distributed maps of the trails. Project organizers say the effort allowed for community engagement and the new benches, signs and map help residents and visitors better utilize the community's trails.

Houston, TX

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2021

Project Category: Improved wayfinding

Description: Organizers with the Greater Northside Management District wanted to help pedestrians reach local businesses and other neighborhood amenities. They also hoped to increase public safety, support public art and create a sense of neighborhood identity. To do this, the District installed signs in five neighborhoods. The large-scale signs can display multiple pieces of information at once, including directions and distances to businesses, public safety statistics, the location of neighborhood amenities and how to catch a bus or check out a bike from the local bike share. Additionally, they can showcase artworks, with local schools encouraged to submit student work for exhibit. The signposts also have a placemaking element -- each displays the name of the neighborhood in large, metal letters. By creating a sense of place and helping visitors navigate, project organizers say the wayfinding effort will support economic development on Houston's Northside.

Nearby AARP Community Challenge Projects

Grand Island, NE

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2022

Project Category: Engaging residents alongside thought leaders in problem solving

Description: To increase community connections, this project produced resource packets containing the book The Art of Neighboring and information about a neighborhood meet-and-greet. Grow Grand Island then distributed the packets to participants in a new local leadership forum.

Hastings, NE

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2019

Project Category: Trails

Description: To facilitate outdoor physical activity for its residents, the City of Hastings installed four Rest/Rehydrate/Repair stations along the Pioneer Spirit Trail. Each station features a bench, accessible water fountain and pet dish, as well as a concrete pad where bikes can safety pull off the trail. They included shade trees and other landscaping at each location. In addition, two of the stations feature bicycle repair stands with air pumps and other tools. Since their installation, the 3R stations have welcomed thousands of visitors. As part of plans to expand the Pioneer Spirit Trail, the City plans to construct more 3R stations.

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