Creating Age-Friendly Communities in Canada

Great models for living abound with our Canadian neighbors to the north, who are building wonderful mixed-age, mixed-use communities that offer independent living for their elders. Consider the municipalities of Vernon and Langley in British Columbia, where I recently spent time helping them lay out walkability ground rules for age-friendly neighborhoods. Vernon is the smaller of the two, with a population of 60,000. The city has an intact, prosperous downtown, with many restored and new multistory buildings for seniors in …

Active Transportation

Active transportation connects people and places. It provides access to jobs, education, shopping, transit and recreation. In short, trails, bike pathways and greenways make for great places to live and to visit. Next time you see one of those “America’s Best Places to Live” lists that magazines often compile, you’ll notice that most of these heralded communities have one thing in common: a great trail system and safe places to walk and bike. Billings, Mont., is one such community. Long …

Getting From Point A to Point B ­for Free!

Cost can sometimes be a deterrent for many seeking to ride the bus or train. Luckily, various communities around the country have an easy solution to this problem via free bus systems. These cost-free transportation systems are an excellent resource for residents of all ages. However, they introduce a unique opportunity for boomers looking for a simple way to get around, especially in cases when biking or walking isn’t an option. >> Sign up for the AARP Health Newsletter In …

Trails Are for Recreation and Transportation!

When people use trails for recreation, exercise or transportation, they improve their health by lowering their risk for heart and weight-related problems. Regular walking or bicycling also has been shown to be very beneficial to mental health, reducing stress and combating depression. Many of the trips Americans take are very short. More than a quarter of trips are within a 20-minute walk and half are within a 20-minute bicycle ride. Often the barrier to walking or bicycling is not distance, …

Safe Routes for Everywhere

Earlier posts in this series focused on how cities and suburbs can use biking, walking and other forms of active transportation to help older residents stay in their homes. But what about older adults who live in smaller, more sparsely populated communities? AARP and the Partnership for Active Transportation advocate for “Safe Routes to Everywhere” - safe and pleasant places for Americans to walk and bike that connect people to their communities and common destinations. In rural areas this can be …