Retirement communities that provide their residents with graduated degrees of care depending on their needs allow people to stay in familiar surroundings with familiar people as they require increasing amounts of aid and medical attention.
A series of bonfires floating on the Providence River are lit on summer nights in downtown Providence, Rhode Island. The event draws large crowds and has become a symbol of the revitalization and beautification of the city.
The MinuteMan Bike Trail in Massachusetts (www.minutemanbikeway.org) is another good example of an unused railway being turned into a bike trail. In addition to being a good tourist attraction and a popular weekend activity for locals, it also gets a lot of use by commuters who bike to work. Since it ends at a main subway stop leading into Boston, the trail provides a safe alternative to busy streets that commuters can use to travel from surrounding cities into Boston for work. Strategic starting and ending places such as these can help this kind of project really take off.
Great find! You are right that this is a great way to get people involved in the area they live in. Paris has a very similar weekend called "La Journée de la Patrimoine" (Heritage Days). It lets Parisians (and visitors!) access many famous and important sites that are normally closed to the public. It is an exciting weekend in Paris and helps citizens feel more connected to their surroundings.