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Rochester, NY

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2021

Project Category: Developing projects based on residents' priorities

Description: In the 1950s, construction of U.S. Interstate 490 split Rochester's 16th Ward in two. In recent years, the City of Rochester removed the highway. Hinge Neighbors hoped to bridge the gap between neighbors on either side of the expressway and explore their shared history. To do this, the organization closed the Scio Street Bridge to vehicle traffic. They then created a pop-up community gathering space on bridge, which once spanned the interstate. To activate the space, project organizers added tables, benches, planters and fruit trees. Kiosks displayed information about the neighborhoods, both before and after the highway. Additionally, the event featured live music and food, and organizers provided resources related to community health, design and equity. Since the pop-up event, Hinge Neighbors has worked to include community input in local design plans as Rochester fills in the removed expressway.

Nearby AARP Community Challenge Projects

Buffalo, NY

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2022

Project Category: Engaging residents in vibrant public places

Description: This project created monthly Jazz Night the Community Center, which provided access to cultural activities and encouraged multigenerational interaction.

Buffalo, NY

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2021

Project Category: Innovative home maintenance, repair and support services

Description: To help low-income families rehabilitate their homes, Habitat for Humanity Buffalo held a series of construction skills trainings. Designed to reach people without a background in construction, the workshops focused on plumbing and electrical work. Project organizers say these education efforts ensure individuals are empowered to undertake critical home repairs. Additionally, the nonprofit wanted to help its volunteers understand the communities they serve. To do this, the organization hosted training sessions on topics related to diversity, equity and inclusion. Organizers report the sessions informed Home Team volunteers about the history of low-income communities and reinforced the importance of Habitat's mission to construct affordable housing.


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