Jana Lynott is a senior strategic policy adviser with the AARP Public Policy Institute, where she manages the AARP transportation research agenda. As a land use and transportation planner, she brings practical expertise to the research field.

Communities See Rising Livability Index Scores With Policy Adoption

By Jana Lynott & Shannon Guzman, AARP Public Policy Institute Communities across the country are taking steps to become more livable, and AARP is tracking their progress. Today the AARP Public Policy Institute (PPI) posted new data to its Livability Index based on an update of 19 of the index’s 20 policies.[1] A powerful free tool that anyone can access at www.aarp.org/livabilityindex, the Livability Index scores neighborhoods and communities across the U.S. for the services and amenities that affect people’s …

Too Many Lives Cut Short on Our Nation’s Roads

In 2009, a truck struck and killed Beverly Shelton’s grandson, Zachary, who was walking inside a marked crosswalk and accompanied by an adult. The driver had rolled through the stop sign rather than make a complete stop. Since the time of Zachary’s death, another 32,000-plus pedestrians have been killed in the United States. A pedestrian is killed every two hours and injured every eight minutes on our nation’s roads. Unfortunately, these tragedies are rising at a distressing rate. From 2009 …

What’s Weather Got to Do With It?

When AARP published its Most Livable Places at 50+, more than a few eyebrows rose. “How is it that so many cold places in the Midwest rate highly for livability?” was a common question from our website visitors. “Isn’t weather fundamental to livability?” they asked. Climate certainly can be an important consideration when choosing where to live; however, the Public Policy Institute’s Livability Index is designed to give people and local policymakers the information they need to determine how well …

The Livability Index: What’s in a Score?

The Livability Index: Great Neighborhoods for All Ages does a few unique things and we are glad to know that residents and policymakers are beginning to use it. The index’s categories cover the wide range of issues that affect people’s lives and their ability to stay in their neighborhood if they want to do so. In What Is Livable we asked many different types of people across the country what was important to them. One general conclusion from that survey work …

Downtown Neighborhoods Among the Most Livable

How well does your community meet your needs — both today and in the future? With AARP Public Policy Institute’s new Livability Index: Great Neighborhoods for All Ages, people and policymakers have a first-of-its-kind resource to determine how well their neighborhoods support all members of the community. This is particularly important in the coming years to address the changing needs and wants of this country’s aging population as nearly 9 in 10 Americans 65-plus want to age in their communities …

Can Streets Make Us Healthy? Open Streets Can

America’s public health crisis has been well documented. More than two-thirds of adults are overweight, and more than 1 in 10 children become obese as early as ages 2 to 5. Boomers have the highest obesity rates of any age group, topping 35 percent in 17 states. Obesity is related to dozens of serious health issues, including diabetes, heart disease and vascular dementia. Traditional public health intervention efforts in the form of nutrition and exercise education and promotion have had …