In Texas, Building More Livable Cities, One Grant at a Time
Wednesday, March 9, 2022
Neighborhoods are known to be more livable when housing, transportation and public spaces harmonize with the community, and Houston's most diverse neighborhood is moving in that direction.
The group Connect Community received grant money from AARP Texas last year to add shade structures, seating, trees and a mural along streets in Houston's Gulfton area, considered the most diverse neighborhood in one of the country's most diverse cities.
Anne Whitlock, Connect Community's founding director, said quick-action projects are being implemented that emphasize needs of the 50-plus population.
"There's precious little park space or gathering spaces for people," she said, "either within their apartment complex or outside in the broader community."
AARP Texas awarded money to six local organizations last year through its Community Challenge grants program, and is accepting applications for new projects through March 22. More information is online at AARP.org/CommunityChallenge.
Lisa Rodriguez, manager of outreach and advocacy for AARP Texas, said San Antonio used grant money to beautify one of its historic districts, while North Houston created a multimedia art installation. She said many communities want to upgrade crosswalks or traffic signals for a better pedestrian experience.
"Do we need a walking plan? That's a good idea - we could fund something like that in a neighborhood," she said. "It could be in the scale of neighborhood, or the scale of a district of a city or a town - or perhaps the whole town or the whole city."
Whitlock said Gulfton's built environment isn't pedestrian friendly, and that's why Connect's project is designed to create comfortable, accessible spaces where people can participate in activities and socialize to strengthen the overall community.
"We want to get some of these organizations out of their buildings and more into their complexes," she said, "because it's very unsafe to walk in the neighborhood, so we're trying to bring place-making to them."
The Texas grant program is part of AARP's nationwide Livable Communities initiative, which supports the efforts of cities, towns, neighborhoods and rural areas to become great places to live.
get more stories like this via email
In the wake of historic summer floods in the Midwest and Appalachia, there are calls for a new national plan to reduce risks from disasters. The …
The Inflation Reduction Act, newly passed by the U.S. Senate, allocates $369 Billion to fight climate change, and appropriates funds specifically for …
Sweeping legislation approved by Congress is designed to address a range of issues, including climate change and deficit reductions. Other components …
By Linda Burstyn for Ms. Magazine Broadcast version by Roz Brown for New Mexico News Connection/Public News Service Bad Business: Anti-abortion …
Opening up Pennsylvania's primary elections to voters who aren't registered either as Democrats or Republicans is the topic of a State House of Repres…
August is National Black Business Month, and this year, for Black-owned companies in Pennsylvania that have managed to survive through the pandemic…
On August 27, members of the public will have a rare opportunity to visit the historic Padlock Ranch first developed for livestock in 1867, now …
Virginia has some of the fastest-eroding coastline in the U.S, so an effort at one federal agency is bringing new focus to the region. Inside the …