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SmartGrowthThree AARP experts will be speaking at the 13th annual New Partners for Smart Growth Conference in Denver, Feb. 13-15. Attend their presentations if you’ll be at the conference.

A General Plan Meets Smart Growth: TOD, Millenials, and Boomers — Oh My!

Thursday, Feb. 13, 4-5:30 p.m.
The Panel
Sonja Ewing, M-NCPPC, Revitalization Program manager, County of Fairfax, Virginia Office of Community Revitalization (moderator)
Howard Ways, AICP, executive director, Prince George’s County Redevelopment Authority
Aldea Douglas, project manager, AARP Livable Communities
Sarah Lewis, AIA, LEED-AP, CNU-A, associate, Fuss & O’Neill Inc.

Prince George’s County, Md., is preparing a new general plan centered on the Smart Growth principles pioneered in the state. In the past, the county staked its future on building McMansions and project-by-project decision-making. The result has been a bedroom community unprepared for the major demographic shifts caused by both the boomer and millennial generations, and threatened by a weak commercial tax base, failures of transit-orient development (TOD), negative job growth, a loss of open space and an obese population. (Does any of this remind you of your community?) The general plan (PlanPGC 2035) addresses these challenges head-on by utilizing Smart Growth approaches. The panel will present strategies, including national best practices to support aging-in-place, and discuss the importance of prioritizing investment, walkability and transit-oriented design.

Livable Communities Council: Engaging Volunteers to Empower Communities

Friday, Feb. 14, 1:30-3 p.m.
The Panel
Jason Tudor, director of outreach, AARP Louisiana (moderator)
Earl Williams, chief financial officer, Trinity Christian Community
Susan Guidry, councilwoman, New Orleans City Council
Lynn Maloney-Mujica, senior planner, Arcadis

Louisiana’s population is rapidly aging, with a projected 42 percent increase among its age-60-plus population by 2030. Helping communities adequately support this aging population is a focus of AARP Louisiana and its key partners. A leadership council consisting of volunteers drawn from fields such as planning, architecture and transportation has designed a six- to eight-week program to improve the proficiency and understanding of residents about Livable Communities principles; provide information about effective tactics for supporting community efforts to become more livable; and empower residents to effect change within their communities. The session will discuss how the council was developed and how it has effectively recruited and retained its members. The presenters will also explain how the council supports community activities that address a range of issues from affordable and accessible housing to transportation coordination.

Learn & Stroll: Walking Big Ideas and Everyday Tools to Increase Walking in Communities

Saturday, Feb. 15, 10:15 a.m-12:15 p.m.
The Panel
Kathy Sykes, senior adviser, aging and sustainability, Office of Research and Development, EPA (moderator)
Dan Burden, director of innovation and inspiration, Walkable and Livable Communities Institute
Scott Bricker, president, America Walks
Kate Clark, MA, planner for policy and program development, Philadelphia Corporation on Aging
Jana Lynott, AICP, senior strategic policy adviser, AARP Public Policy Institute
Tristan Sanders, project manager, Kaiser Permanente, Community Benefit and Relations 

Some people walk to school or to work or to do errands. Others walk for the joy of being outdoors, for exercise, to clear their minds, even to brainstorm ideas at work. We walk in groups and alone. In this session five experts talk about making communities walkable. In addition to learning new, innovative methods, participants will be encouraged to share their walkability stories and take at least one concrete action back to their communities.

Learn more about age-friendly homes and communities at AARP.org/livable

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