7 Solutions for Improving a Home’s Energy Efficiency

You don’t need to be a mechanic to know that a car is made up of interacting components and systems, and that the failure of just one component can affect the overall performance of the vehicle. Houses work the same way. The thermal envelope, insulation, HVAC systems, appliances, lighting and more all contribute to the comfort, health and safety of a home. Rather than focusing on a single problem, like drafty windows or not enough insulation, hire contractors who are …

Wanted: Great Ideas for Improving 26 U.S. Cities

Lots of people have ideas for how the cities or towns they live or work in can be improved. Few people have the time, money and influence to make those ideas a reality. Sign up for the Livable Communities Newsletter However, from now until Nov. 14, the Knight Foundation is seeking ideas from everyone — really, everyone — about ways to improve the 26 cities where the Knight brothers (John S. and James L.) once owned newspapers. Rather than hearing from major design …

Making Places (Even Times Square) More Livable

Times Square in New York is one of those places that people recognize and can picture even if they’ve never set foot in the city. And although Times Square itself has changed a lot in 110 years (the location received its current name when the New York Times moved its headquarters there in 1904), it retains its unique appearance and sense of place. Stay Informed: Subscribe to the AARP Livable Communities Monthly e-Newsletter It wouldn’t take long for a time …

Harvard Report: U.S. ‘Unprepared’ to House Coming Wave of Older Adults

We’ve known for a long time that the U.S. population is rapidly aging due to increased longevity and the boomer population (all of whom will be 50-plus this year). The report “Housing America’s Older Adults: Meeting the Needs of an Aging Population,” released today by the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies (with support of the AARP Foundation), makes very clear that both individually and as a nation we’re not ready for all that comes with age. Sign up for …

Remodeling a Bathroom for Aging in Place

“Is this the house we’ll retire in?” Crystal and Chris K. frequently asked one another about their home in Silver Spring, Md. The question was important because the answer would determine if they’d remodel or sell their house. If they stayed, some home renovations would be needed in order to successfully age in place. If they eventually moved, a home renovation wouldn’t be all that worthwhile. When Chris and Crystal ultimately made the decision to remain in their current home, …

People Located Near Bike Lanes and Walking Paths Exercise More (A Lot More)

Not exercising isn’t completely your fault. A study conducted in the United Kingdom by the University of Cambridge MRC Epidemiology Unit (and published in July by the American Journal of Public Health) finds that people who live near bike lanes and walking paths are likely to exercise at least 40 minutes more a week than people who don’t have easy access to such traffic-free routes. In fact, for every 0.6 miles a person resides near a dedicated walking path or …