See More Projects Like This One

Shreveport, LA

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2020

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: As they worked toward neighborhood revitalization, organizers with Shreveport Common saw potential for two vacant lots covered in crumbling concrete. They cleaned up the site to create Caddo Common Park. By installing seating and umbrellas for shade, this project completed the activation by adding the Art Bosque Food Truck Court to the new park. Organizers specifically chose ADA-compliant seating options, hoping to make the area near the park's pavilion accessible to people of all ages and abilities. Prior to the park's completion, the neighborhood's residents lived in a green space desert, with no nearby outdoor gathering spaces. Project organizers say Shreveport Common filled this gap just as hundreds of new affordable apartments were set to open nearby.

Ponce, PR

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2020

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: Ponce -- Puerto Rico's second largest city -- is recovering after two hurricanes and several earthquakes damaged its downtown, leaving many families homeless. As part of reconstruction efforts, City leaders are focusing on bolstering community arts and activating public spaces. To make the downtown core more inviting, the City improved a walkway that connects the Plaza del Mercado Isabel II with the local marketplace. To prepare the site, City staff made infrastructure upgrades and revamped landscaping. They then added tables and benches to the site, allowing visitors to gather to enjoy live music, play board games and exercise. The City also installed a platform where artisans can display their work.

South Bend, IN

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2021

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: Many older adults in South Bend have trouble connecting with their peers to engage in meaningful conversation. South Bend Heritage develops affordable housing for older adults and provides supportive services to facilitate aging in place. The organization transformed an alley that connects one of its apartment buildings to South Bend's downtown. The alley now features benches, picnic tables, lighting and grills. Since the improvements, the space hosts monthly events to encourage apartment residents and the wider community to gather and socialize.

Nearby AARP Community Challenge Projects

Houston, TX

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2017

Project Category: Public art installations

Description: To increase walkability and create a safe, beautiful gathering space, Avenue CDC engaged a local artist, local schoolchildren and residents to create a 600-foot mural. The wall selected for the artwork was off-putting and had been vandalized many times. But the site also acted as the entry point to the Northline neighborhood, since the wall faces the nearby light rail station. The mural's design pays homage to local Latino culture and the history of the neighborhood. As the mural reached its completion, Hurricane Harvey hit Houston and project organizers were able to repurpose leftover grant funds to help with recovery and rebuilding.

Houston, TX

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2023

Project Category: Walkability

Description: This project will conduct walk audits along Washington Avenue, a busy commercial district surrounded by residential homes. There will be two training sessions and a final in-person community meeting.

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