See More Projects Like This One

Atlanta, GA

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2019

Project Category: Roadway/sidewalks/crosswalk improvement

Description: The Atlanta Bicycle Coalition -- now called Propel Atlanta -- highlighted safety through temporary changes to a dangerous street. Through the years, Cascade Avenue has been the site of many accidents involving pedestrians. Project organizers increased the visibility of the street's crosswalks by adding splashes of color. They also deployed cones to make a wide lane narrower, demonstrating how street design can reduce driver speeds and increase pedestrian safety.

Starkville, MS

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2019

Project Category: Roadway/sidewalks/crosswalk improvement

Description: Community-based organization Keep Starkville Beautiful updated a busy transportation corridor to calm traffic, increase safety and make the area more pleasant. The organization repaired a crumbling retaining wall and added built-in planters and pollinator patch gardens. A local artist created a colorful pavement pattern in the intersection of Whitfield and Scales Streets. Keep Starkville Beautiful also made improvements to a bus stop, installing a new ADA-compliant seating and waiting area and adding an arbor framed by planters to provide shade. Local residents provided much of the labor for the upgrades during community work days.

Grand Forks, ND

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2018

Project Category: Roadway/sidewalks/crosswalk improvement

Description: To increase the pedestrian experience in Grand Forks, this project tested improvements to crosswalks at a busy intersection. The City installed temporary curb extensions, designed to shorten the distance needed to cross the street and make pedestrians more visible to drivers. They also used paint to make the crosswalks more noticeable. Additionally, local high school students helped install a sidewalk mural nearby, along with flowerpots and benches. The pop-up demonstration was in place for one month, giving residents time to give their feedback. Since the project, the City Council approved plans for permanent curb extension at the intersection. Organizers hope data gathered will also inspire other streetscape improvements to make the community more walkable.

Nearby AARP Community Challenge Projects

Chicago, IL

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2018

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: To promote walkability, economic development and better quality of life for residents, the Chicago Department of Transportation created a replicable prototype for a People Spot. Consisting of a wooden platform, the People Spots transform on-street parking spaces into outdoor patios. To help neighborhood groups set up their own People Spots, the City published construction plans and an assembly manual for the parklets online. Part of the City's Livable Streets Program, organizers say the temporary infrastructure helps neighborhoods overcome economic hardship by encouraging residents to walk and frequent local businesses. The City installed its first People Spot in the South Side Chatham neighborhood in 2018. That iteration measured about six feet wide by 20 feet long, but the platforms can be as long as 80 feet.

Chicago, IL

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2020

Project Category: Community Gardens

Description: The El Paseo Community Garden in Chicago's Pilsen neighborhood added a new gathering space, dubbed El Convivio or The Gathering. The goal of the project was to make the garden more accessible to Latino older adults living in nearby apartment buildings. Improvements to the space include an outdoor kitchen and patio with a fire pit, ADA-compliant seating, walking paths and an accessible planting station. Planters at the site were specifically designed to grow culturally relevant produce, including tomatoes, peppers, garlic and onions. The picnic area's stucco and ceramic tiles mimic designs seen in Mexican haciendas. Garden leaders partnered with nonprofit architectural firm Human Scale to involve garden members in the space's design and volunteers from the neighborhood installed the new amenities. As El Paseo's leadership finalized El Convivio, they also worked with the City of Chicago to secured additional land to expand the garden.

LEARN MORE AND STAY INFORMED

Find articles and resources about making communities more livable for people of all ages

people icon

Download or order free publications from AARP Livable Communities

download icon

Sign up for the free, weekly, award-winning AARP Livable Communities eNewsletter

mail icon

Don't see your community listed?

LEARN HOW IT CAN JOIN THE NETWORK

Connect with your AARP State Office

AARP has offices in all 50 states as well as in the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

AARP Illinois State Office

222 N. LaSalle Street
Suite 710
Chicago, IL 60601
United States

Phone: 866-448-3613
Fax: 312-372-2204
Email: [email protected]