‘We Should Talk’: Cross-Sector Conversations on Livable Communities Show Great Promise

By Rodney Harrell and Stephanie K. Firestone The thousands of community planners who will come together this May at the American Planning Association’s (APA) National Planning Conference are increasingly aware of a demographic trend: Nearly 20 percent of the U.S. population will be over age 65 by 2030. Translation: Planners need to get together with aging network professionals and talk! Why? Many aging network professionals are in the business of designing plans with individuals to help them to thrive in …

Redefining Home to Address the Future of Housing

by Rodney Harrell with Shannon Guzman and Dan Soliman   In 1961, AARP’s founder, Ethel Andrus, presented President Dwight Eisenhower with Freedom House. The scale model of a uniquely designed home contained what we would now call universal design features that allow people to stay in their homes as they age. Fifty-seven years later, we continue to implement that vision. This morning in Memphis, Walter Moody, a veteran who has faced a range of life challenges including housing instability, is …

Inviting All Planners: Cross-Sector Summit to Create Livable Communities for All Ages

The aging-in-community of a rapidly aging population demands a fundamental shift in planning in order to minimize the economic, social and health challenges that will otherwise overwhelm communities. Nearly 90 percent of Americans 65 and older tell us that they want to age in their homes or communities. And two-thirds of the 85-plus population — the fastest-growing demographic in the U.S. — has at least one disability. We must create communities that are livable across the life span and spectrum …

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 …

HIVE Buzzes With Talk About Aging-Friendly Housing

“Who here,” asks architect Sarah Susanka, addressing a packed ballroom of housing industry professionals at the 2016 HIVE (housing innovation, vision and economics) Conference in Los Angeles, “is looking forward to retiring?” Several arms shoot into the air. “Who here,” she repeats, “is looking forward to moving to an active adult community?” A handful of hands are raised, accompanied by a chorus of laughter. “Who’s looking forward to living in an assisted-living facility?” she asks the crowd at the Hanley …

A Pedestrian Is Killed Every 2 Hours and Injured Every 7 Minutes

Following is an excerpt of the remarks made by U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx at the 2016 Summit for the Mayors’ Challenge for Safer People, Safer Streets, in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 16. Since we kicked the challenge off over a year ago, 240 communities have signed on to work on the seven challenge areas, and our goal is to improve safety for bicyclists and pedestrians of all ages and abilities. We’ve made undeniable progress, and today we honor the places …