Tucson, AZ (June 27, 2024)  Tucsonans have come to love Cyclovia Tucson, the biannual “open streets” event organized by the nonprofit organization, Living Streets Alliance. The event—also known as “Arizona’s biggest block party”—is a way for different neighborhoods to enjoy their streets free of cars, boost locally owned businesses in the area, and bring together community members who may not otherwise cross paths in their everyday lives.

With typical Cyclovia Tucson attendance reaching 50,000 people or more, the organization has set a goal to launch a mini-open streets program so that open streets events can take place more regularly in more parts of the city. Thanks to an AARP Community Challenge Flagship Grant award the program will get off the ground this fall.


The new program, called “Cyclovita,” looks to bring support and resources to neighborhoods hoping to organize their own, smaller open streets event. While Cyclovia Tucson events are open to the broader public, these smaller events will focus on engaging people in the immediate area.


Through the grant Living Streets Alliance (LSA) will pilot an inaugural Cyclovita event in the 85705 zip code this November. They’ll also develop a Cyclovita Toolkit—a manual and resources to aid motivated community members in organizing their own open streets events.


“We’re thrilled to pilot a model that we’ve been dreaming of for some time — a way to replicate the magic and community of Cyclovia Tucson on a smaller, more sustainable scale,” said Emily Yetman, Executive Director with Living Streets Alliance. “We get more requests for open streets than we have capacity for. This is a way to equip Tucsonans with the tools and know-how to implement open streets with and in their own community.”


The pilot event will place an emphasis on engaging neighbors and community members aged 50+. Census data shows that 39% of the Tucson population is 50 or older. Social and physical isolation is, unfortunately, a growing crisis among older adults in America. With the “go-to-them” approach of Cyclovita, Living Streets Alliance will create a space for neighbors ages 50+ to engage fully in an event where they can find joy in nearby social connections and physical movement – without the need to drive a car or leave the neighborhood.

“This grant supports quick-action projects that will enhance community livability for people of all ages. Creating a safe space for residents to gather, walk and bike is a step closer to bringing neighborhoods together,” said, Dana Marie Kennedy, AARP Arizona State Director.