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Louisville, KY

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2018

Project Category: Roadway/sidewalks/crosswalk improvement

Description: At a width of 150 feet, Louisville's Ninth Street had the feel of a thoroughfare. To improve the street's safety and aesthetics, Louisville Metro Government upgraded sidewalks, painted bars to make crosswalks more visible to drivers and changed signals to give pedestrians more crossing time. To give people a space to rest, they added benches to an underused green space in the median, the site of an existing sculpture. Doing so created a public space for residents declared that a place to sit and rest in the area was one of their preferred amenities. Organizes say the project has sparked conversations about how to continue improving the pedestrian experience on Ninth Street. Louisville is now exploring adding bike lanes, as well as bump-outs to make crossing distances smaller. We want to redesign this corridor with people in mind and not just cars, Gretchen Millikin, director of advanced planning, said.

Philadelphia, PA

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2022

Project Category: Public spaces improvements to increase high-speed internet availability

Description: To help older adults access the internet, the Center in the Park created a cafe onsite, which offers free Wi-Fi access to visitors.

Springfield, OH

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2020

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: As part of wider corridor improvement efforts, the 1159 Southwest Community Development Corporation activated three vacant lots, transforming them into a public gathering space dubbed Grand Harmony. Volunteers installed porch swings, picnic tables, benches and a new grill at the site. They also added LED lighting and a storage shed. Project organizers say Grand Harmony's success has opened doors for other revitalization efforts. In December 2020, a local foundation provided 1159 South Community Development Corporation with funding to activate a nearby vacant lot into an inspiration garden.

Nearby AARP Community Challenge Projects

Albany, NY

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2020

Project Category: Community Gardens

Description: The Underground Railroad Education Center constructed an accessible, indoor garden in the Arbor Hill neighborhood, whose residents lack access to fresh produce and gardening space. Designed for year-round use, the new hoop house represents an intergenerational collaboration between younger and older adults. Local teenagers created and installed planters and now help grow food there. Albany businesses and volunteers also contributed to the project by building benches for the site. Today, the Center grows produce, such as lettuce, in the greenhouse, which it donates to people in the community.

Bethlehem, NY

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2017

Project Category: Trails

Description: As part of its efforts to bring public art to the Albany County Helderberg-Hudson Rail Trail, the Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy created a mural along the trail in the Town of Bethlehem. Project organizers chose a local artist from a pool of applicants to paint the mural, which depicts a surreal landscape and adorns a formerly graffitied wall. Since then, the Art on the Rail Trail (ART) initiative has installed several more murals, as well as a mini art gallery and arts programming. The trail is popular with pedestrians and cyclists in warm weather and cross-county skiers and snowshoe hikers in the winter.

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