Outdoor Spaces and Buildings

People need public places to gather, indoors and out. Green spaces, safe streets, sidewalks, outdoor seating and accessible buildings (such as elevators or stairs with railings) can be used and enjoyed by people of all ages. Lansing is currently identifying issues that need to be addressed to make spaces more age-friendly and looking for ways to create additional accessible places for people.


  • How to Create a Grandparent Park - In need of a place for children and adults to exercise and spend more time together outdoors, Wichita, Kansas, built a playground for all ages.
  • How to Create a Parklet - In places crowded with streets and structures, small open spaces (even those as small as a parking spot) can provide lots of room to relax. Parklets were first introduced in San Francisco, when an art and design studio created one to call attention to the scarcity of outdoor public spaces compared to the abundance of parking lots. 
  • How to Create, Maintain and Manage an Intergenerational Community Garden - With fresh produce hard for many residents to come by, residents of a Vermont town get down and dirty by working together to grow fruits and vegetables. The Fresh Start Community Farm offers insight to their successful gardening program and shares "how-to" advice for how other communities can grow the food they need. 
  • What Do Seniors Need in Parks? - As America’s population rapidly ages, parks and recreation agencies need to serve people of all ages. Among the useful features to include, according to this report: informative signage, accessible pathways and a variety of active and passive activities. (American Society of Landscape Architects)
  • Age-Friendly Business Program - An initiative to help a city develop services and spaces that can support an aging population. Resources available include age-friendly business guides and checklists. The following cities have adopted this program: Calgary, Thunder Bay and New York City.
  • For more AARP resources on Outdoor Spaces and Buildings, visit their website.
City of Lansing
Michigan Fitness Foundation 
Capital Area Health Alliance Trail Map
  • Tri-County Parks and Trails Map - A map showing the parks and trails throughout the Tri-County area. Includes a description of certain amenities and icons that show if the park is handicap accessible. Available at local parks and parks departments, community centers, health departments and neighborhood organizations. Also available online for viewing and downloading.
Greater Lansing Food Bank
  • Community Gardens map - Detailed, interactive map that shows garden locations throughout Lansing.
  • Greater Lansing Food Bank (GLFB) Garden Project - An impact analysis and inventory of community gardens in Lansing. Helpful maps on pages 5, 58 and 59 featuring garden locations, distance gardeners travel to gardens, and distance traveled by gardeners to gardens and grocery stores.
Ingham County Land Bank
  • Ingham County Land Bank’s Garden Program - Encourages and supports community-based beautification and gardening projects on the Land Bank's vacant lots. Projects include small household gardens, community gardens involving several families and larger-scale urban farming efforts.