We Must Make Our Communities More Livable for All

This post originally appeared in the IAGG 2017 Bridge blog. Across the globe populations are aging, and this far-reaching change is happening much faster than most people realize. In just five years, the number of older persons will surpass one billion; they are already a fast-growing presence in cities and towns of all sizes, every region and all segments of society.   Photo courtesy of Dan Burden This change provides countries across the globe with a great opportunity, because older …

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 …

Grandchild’s Death Highlights Need to Protect Pedestrians

  Once upon a time there was an awesome little boy named Zach. I called him “Zachy Pooh.” His dad and mom called him “Buddy.” Zach loved school, music, the Beatles, outer space, and everything involving transportation — especially trains. He loved his mom, dad, and new little brother Miles, whom he nicknamed “Mr. M.” He called me “Grandma Beverly.” On the afternoon of Feb. 27, 2009, everything changed. That morning, my own son dropped his little boy off at the …

Eye on a Prize: Making America’s Communities Livable

When you think of winning a prize, what’s your first thought? Is it actually finding something in a box of Cracker Jack? Maybe, winning Lotto? (I was really hoping for that Powerball jackpot recently.) Or is it simply the thrill that comes with winning the prize? Whatever it may be, we love prizes. I can’t think of anyone I know who doesn’t. When Charles Lindbergh made his famous transatlantic flight from New York to Paris in 1927, it was for …

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 …