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Active Transportation

Posted on 12/12/2013 by | AARP Education & Outreach | Comments

Great PlacesActive 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 …

Density: The Scary Word

Posted on 12/10/2013 by | AARP Education & Outreach | Comments

Great PlacesAmericans love traveling to cities where there’s excitement on the streets and people-watching is rewarding and fun; places where it’s easy to take care of the needs of daily life, yet these same routines often bring pleasant surprises. We take photos and put them on the mantelpiece to preserve fond memories. These cities — as small as Winter Park, Fla.; Carmel-by-the-Sea, Calif.; Princeton, N.J.; Burlington, Vt.; Sitka, Alaska; and Charleston, S.C. — have much in common, but the glue that …

A Powerful New Way to Save Money

Posted on 10/29/2013 by | AARP Education & Outreach | Comments

Great PlacesThe bicycle: It’s one of the best inventions of all time, the essential precursor to the automobile that led to modern brakes, gearing and much more. And now it’s reinventing itself, in ways that can help you save money and stay healthy. The latest variety is an electric-assist bicycle, or eBike, and it deserves some consideration. You still have to pedal this bike to make it move, but not as hard. You arrive at your destination without sweating in the …

Are Your Streets Working for You? Part II

Posted on 10/8/2013 by | AARP Education & Outreach | Comments

Great PlacesWith today’s post, I want to pick up where I left off last time, when I wrote about bringing a “people first” focus to our streets. Let’s start by celebrating some of the people who are succeeding, which hopefully will embolden you to take up the same cause in your own town. The story I want to share is unfolding in Hamburg, N.Y., where the New York State Department of Transportation proposed major improvements 12 years ago for a one-mile …

Are Your Streets Working for You?

Posted on 10/1/2013 by | AARP Education & Outreach | Comments

Great PlacesAmerica is changing politically, socially, demographically and economically — in ways that bode well for active transportation. Increasingly, we’re getting back to a nostalgic view of the street as providing the lifeblood and pulse of a neighborhood. It’s the place where shops and restaurants thrive on customer loyalty; where neighbors catch up and friends interact; where parents walk their kids to school. In essence, streets are reemerging as the fundamental context for placemaking, and it’s a change that comes just …

How Do You Know If a Town Is Right for You?

Posted on 08/27/2013 by | AARP Education & Outreach | Comments

Great PlacesIn earlier blog posts, I’ve addressed the idea of retiring in the neighborhood you’ve come to love, the one where you have established friendships and social circles. But what if your quest is to go someplace new, in the same town or even far away? My wife, Lys, and I moved more than 3,000 miles, leaving Florida for the cooler climate of the Pacific Northwest. We wanted to be in the center of innovative town making, a place where we …