NACTO, with funding from Bloomberg Philanthropies, offered grants of $50,000 to ten member transportation agencies that are partnering with community-based organizations to reimagine streets, implement ideas, and support ongoing community efforts that meet the needs of populations disproportionately harmed by COVID-19.
As we inch toward a full reopening, we cannot return to a pre-pandemic “normal” that disinvested in communities and amplified economic and racial inequities. For transportation agencies, this means preparing for, planning, and implementing projects based on and in response to stated community needs with meaningful input and guidance from community members.
In 2020, NACTO offered grant support to ten cities that, in partnership with community-based organizations, were reimagining streets to meet the needs of populations disproportionately harmed by COVID-19. Leveraging community-rooted partners’ local expertise and relationships alongside city staff’s ability to implement projects in the public right-of-way, these 10 city-community partnerships developed COVID-19 information and testing hubs in the public right-of-way; opened streets for outdoor schooling, dining, and walking; and created new outdoor community hubs.
Building on the success of tose 10 city-community partner teams, NACTO, with funding from Bloomberg Philanthropies, again offered grant support in 2021 to 10 city transportation agencies that centered community expertise in COVID-19 response and recovery. Eligible strategies focused on physical or operational changes to public space, including the roadbed, sidewalks, and other spaces such as parking lots or plazas that are being converted to support a community need. These strategies responded to the needs of populations disproportionately harmed by COVID-19’s public health and economic impacts.