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.

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 …

Reconnecting Small-Town America by Bus

Growing up in America’s heartland, my parents frequently put me and my sister on a Greyhound bus to visit our grandparents in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Along this three-hour trek from Ames, we would stop for passengers in six small towns. These were memorable opportunities to flex a bit of pre-driver independence and stay in touch with extended family. Today, my son could make the trip by bus between Ames and Cedar Rapids, but children from the smallest four towns along …

Aging in Community: City Planners Get on Board to Help Lead the Way

Where do you plan to retire? If you’re like a majority of Americans, you prefer to age in your current home, or at the very least, your community. A just-released survey by the AARP Public Policy Institute (PPI) shows nearly 9 in 10 people age 65 and older want to stay put as they age. Only 11 percent intend to move within the next three years. Most will age in a suburb, often with few transportation and housing options. These …