AARP Education & Outreach, Livable Communities

What makes a community a great place for people of all ages? Find innovative ideas from the elected officials, planners, designers, advocates and local leaders who are making homes, neighborhoods, cities, towns and states more livable and age-friendly. Visit our website at AARP.org/livable. Subscribe to our free monthly e-newsletter at AARP.org/livable-newsletter.

Follow author: Twitter

How to Stay Warm and Save Energy

For people in much of the country, temperatures are going down and utility bills are skyrocketing up. Home heating accounts for about 45 percent of the typical American household’s energy bill, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. One of the biggest culprits behind high heating bills is heat loss that occurs through small holes and cracks in the home’s envelope. Though seemingly small, these little escape hatches can drain up to 25 percent of a home’s heat, DOE reports. …

Texas Study: Walkable Communities Really Do Work

It may seem a bit of a disconnect, but Texas, an expansive state connected by hundreds and hundreds of miles of highway, is home to a new study showing that pedestrian-oriented, activity-friendly “walkable communities” result in a healthier and more socially supportive and engaged population. The study, led by Xuemei Zhu, an architecture professor at Texas A&M University, surveyed 449 residents of Mueller, a walkable, transit-oriented development in Austin, Texas. Zhu and her researchers found that when the residents compared …

Wins for AARP Livable and ‘Incomplete Streets’

The AARP Livable Communities team is proud to announce that our recently relaunched website (AARP.org/livable) and still-young monthly e-newsletter (AARP.org/livable-newsletter) can now be described as “award-winning.” In fact, our website and e-newsletter are multi-award-winning, as is our slideshow “Dangerously Incomplete Streets,” which was published in May upon the release of the “2014 Dangerous by Design” report by the National Complete Streets Coalition. The MIN Editorial & Design Awards are presented by MIN (aka: the “media industry newsletter”), which is a …

How to Make a City More Walkable

Recognizing the need for more walkable communities to benefit older adults and people of all ages, Marketplace Weekend, an American Public Media broadcast that airs on NPR, visited with Nancy LeaMond, executive vice president of the AARP state and national group, which includes AARP Livable Communities. >> See if your town or city is in the AARP Network of Age-Friendly Communities AARP’s efforts to help communities become less car-dependent are motivated by the reality that, by 2030, 20 percent of …

7 Solutions for Improving a Home’s Energy Efficiency

You don’t need to be a mechanic to know that a car is made up of interacting components and systems, and that the failure of just one component can affect the overall performance of the vehicle. Houses work the same way. The thermal envelope, insulation, HVAC systems, appliances, lighting and more all contribute to the comfort, health and safety of a home. Rather than focusing on a single problem, like drafty windows or not enough insulation, hire contractors who are …

Wanted: Great Ideas for Improving 26 U.S. Cities

Lots of people have ideas for how the cities or towns they live or work in can be improved. Few people have the time, money and influence to make those ideas a reality. Sign up for the Livable Communities Newsletter However, from now until Nov. 14, the Knight Foundation is seeking ideas from everyone — really, everyone — about ways to improve the 26 cities where the Knight brothers (John S. and James L.) once owned newspapers. Rather than hearing from major design …