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Benton, AR

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2019

Project Category: Roadway/sidewalks/crosswalk improvement

Description: Benton city officials wanted the crosswalks in its downtown district to reflect the grandeur of the city's elegant courthouse building, located nearby. First, the City compiled four possible designs for new-artistic crosswalks. Then they reached out to residents via social media, asking them to vote for their favorite option. Nearly 2,000 responded, with the initial vote so close that the City had to hold a runoff. After the tiebreaker, they then installed two wide, visually compelling crosswalks showcasing the winning herringbone pattern.

Honolulu, HI

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2019

Project Category: Roadway/sidewalks/crosswalk improvement

Description: Organizers at the Waikiki Community Center at originally planned to beautify Waikiki neighborhoods by painting utility boxes with cultural images. When that project got derailed due to permit challenges, they pivoted to do much needed sidewalk safety and repair -- something local older adults identified as a community need. The Center led a campaign to educate residents of Waikiki on pedestrian safety and worked with volunteers to patch and repair more than 100 damaged areas of sidewalk. Volunteers also beautified the area along sidewalks by refreshing or replacing planter boxes.

Phoenix, AZ

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2017

Project Category: Roadway/sidewalks/crosswalk improvement

Description: Chicas Por La Causa sought to install a crosswalk near a busy, six-lane intersection in the Maryvale neighborhood. Project organizers heard from residents that they avoid crossing the street near the Casa de Primavera -- an apartment complex for low-income residents -- because they fear getting hit by passing cars. To address this, CPLC Staff and community members collected pedestrian data to demonstrate a need for traffic calming measures to ensure safety. That allowed them to argue their case to City officials, who ultimately decided to install two flashing beacons at intersections, which help make people crossing the street more visible to drivers.

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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.

Louisville, KY

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2021

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

Description: After the City of Louisville updated its zoning code to allow accessory dwelling units, Planning Design Services set out to inform homeowners about their options. ADUs -- or smaller, second homes constructed on preexisting residential lots -- offer an accessible and affordable housing option. Working with a consultant, PDS collected stories about ADUs from residents, including homeowners building ADUs. They also held listening sessions with community leaders, advocates and influences. A community-wide survey helped City staff understand local attitudes about ADUs, including perceived barriers to constructing them. Based on this research, PDS created a public service announcement commercial, as well as a social media ad campaign. Additionally, they created a how-to guide and list of resources to guide homeowners through the process of constructing an ADU. Planners hope the effort leads to more ADU permitting, which will help fill the community's need for missing middle housing.

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