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Press Release: Jackson, MS selected as AARP Community Challenge Recipient

Posted on July 17, 2019

AARP Press Conference 2019

(WASHINGTON, DC) Today, AARP announced the awardees for its 2019 AARP Community Challenge grant program. A total of $1.6 million will be distributed to fund 159 “quick action” projects from each state across the country, helping communities make immediate improvements and jumpstart long-term progress to support residents of all ages. More than 1,660 applications were received from non-profits and government entities for the program, now in its second year. Each of the projects, which must be completed by November 4, is designed to achieve one or more of the following outcomes:

  • Deliver a range of transportation and mobility optionsin the community through permanent or temporary solutions that increase connectivity, walkability, bikeability and/or access to public and private transit.
  • Create vibrant public places in the community through permanent or temporary solutions that improve open spaces, parks and access to other amenities.
  • Support the availability of a range of housingin the community through permanent or temporary solutions that increase accessible and affordable housing options.
  • Demonstrate the tangible value of “Smart Cities”to encourage the development and implementation of innovative decision-making and programs that engage residents in accessing, understanding, and using data to increase the quality of life for residents.

The full list of grantees can be found at

The Community Challenge grant program is part of AARP’s nationwide Livable Communities initiative that helps communities become great places to live for residents of all ages. AARP staff and volunteers are working with roughly 300 communities across the country, engaging and mobilizing community residents, delivering technical assistance and expertise to local leaders and organizations, and supporting the work of the 275 communities and two states that have enrolled in the AARP Network of Age Friendly States and Communities.

Jackson, MS – Designing for an Inclusive Streetscape: “Open Streets”

The Long Range Planning Team at the City of Jackson Department of Planning and Development is a 2019 AARP Livable Communities’ Community Challenge grantee for the second year in a row. The grant will fund pedestrian oriented infrastructure along Congress Street in Downtown Jackson at Smith Park between Amite and Yazoo Street. This project is part of the Planning Department’s “Open Streets” program, which focuses on transforming automobile-oriented streets into vibrant social spaces. Last year’s first phase of the project was set on Congress Street between Capitol and Amite Street near the Governor’s Mansion where the Congress Street Parklet was built. Similarly, this year’s project will approach the site through a tactical urbanism approach, which includes outdoor furniture, landscape design, shade trees, and a ground mural. The project will debut to the public Friday, September 20th with all day programming from 12 pm – 10 pm during the 2019 PARK(ing) Day event.

2018 Parklet Project
Congress Street Parklet developed during AARP’s 2018 Community Challenge Photo by: Long Range Planning

To request more information or for questions contact Salam Rida

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