Ys Making an Impact on Active Communities

tractical urbanism to demonstrate pedestrian safety needs

The Alliance partnered with AARP North Carolina in 2019 on a “tactical urbanism” project in Southport, NC, where volunteers created temporary crosswalks and bike lanes with chalk and paint and created a small “parklet.” 

The goal was to use tactical urbanism (TU, a temporary, low-cost solution) to demonstrate what a long-term solution could look like to improve safety in this North Carolina coastal town for residents and visitors alike. The Alliance provided funding for the TU supplies, and YMCA of Southeastern NC staff joined in the project. 

This work led to the successful installation of permanent changes. AARP NC recently produced this video and article to highlight how the project unfolded and the advocacy work that drove this positive change.

2023 marks the fifth year that YUSA has provided Active Communities funding to the NC Alliance of YMCAs via the Centers for Disease for Control and Prevention. The Alliance, in turn, has provided the funding to several of our Ys, which have used walk audits and walking groups to identify opportunities to improve infrastructure that would facilitate safer walking and biking, and how to advocate for those solutions.

This year, YMCA of Southeastern NC, Harrison Family YMCA in Rocky Mount, Gaston County Family YMCA and YMCA of Western North Carolina are funded for this active communities work. They are engaging at-risk populations and youth in walk audits to identify opportunities for improvement and working to improve North Carolina’s Safe Routes State Report Card score. This summer look for a video update on their work!