See More Projects Like This One

Hamtramck, MI

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2021

Project Category: Roadway/sidewalks/crosswalk improvement

Description: The Joe Louis Greenway is a planned recreational pathway between Hamtramck and Detroit intended to unify the region's neighborhoods, people and parks. Organizers with Eastern Michigan University hoped to help shape the design for an alleyway connecting to the greenway. They planned a pop-up activation of the alley, turning it into a pedestrian-friendly route and community gathering space. The demonstration featured temporary traffic-calming measures, as well as sidewalk bump outs meant to make crossing the street easier. Organizers surveyed visitors during the demonstration, using their feedback to inform permanent changes to the alley.

Des Moines, IA

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2021

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: In the early to mid-1900s, the Waveland Trolley was an integral part of Des Moines' transportation system yet has long since been replaced by more modern options. The Des Moines Historical Society's Waveland Trolley Project set out to commemorate the city's rich history by transforming a long-neglected space into a walkable outdoor transit museum. The park-like setting is located on the former site of the trolley loop, where streetcars would turn around at the end of their route. The outdoor museum features benches, bike racks, panels displaying historical information and a life-sized sculpture of the Waveland Trolley.

Asheville, NC

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2019

Project Category: Park enhancements

Description: After Buncombe County Recreation Services installed new instruments in Charles D. Owen Park -- including lily pad cymbals, a tenor tree, tuned drums and flower gongs -- park attendance increased nearly 20 percent in one year. The instruments, created by the Freenotes Harmony Park company, don't include sharps or flats and are designed to be played using arm and hand muscles rather than fingers. That way, people of all musical abilities can play them without training. More than 400 people also participated in three workshops focused on designing artistic tiles for the new space with themes of compassion, peace and diversity. The creation of the Real Possibilities musical garden sparked new projects, including the park's first TRACK Trail (self-guided, family-friendly outdoor adventures with prizes), enhanced sports courts and bird nest boxes that allow researchers to study tree swallows.

Nearby AARP Community Challenge Projects

Opelika, AL

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2022

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: This project installed an outdoor game station in an underutilized public space, so residents and visitors could have fun while spending time downtown.

LaGrange, GA

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2022

Project Category: Expansion and enhancement of transportation options

Description: This project created a shuttle service, operating 6 a.m. to 5 p.m., in this rural community with no formal public transportation system nor access to ride-sharing services such as Lyft or Uber.

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