Walking the Walk: Renewal in New Orleans 10 Years After Katrina

Ten years ago, in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, AARP had to cancel our Life@50+ national conference in New Orleans. We could not hold that event, but neither could we walk away from the people of that great city. We vowed we would be back — and in 2012, we brought 20,000 AARP members to New Orleans to explore and pursue their possibilities. Most important, we have strengthened our connection to New Orleans and committed to the work of recovery …

Finding Age-Friendly Inspiration in Taiwan

As we pedaled along, it was as if we shared a bike path with the whole city. There were commuters carrying satchels and couples carting picnic baskets. There were cyclists in neon jerseys and families in single-file lines, the kids dinging bells as they passed. There were people on road bikes and folks on rentals; people on skates and others in wheelchairs. My boyfriend, Joe, and I were visiting Taiwan, a relatively quick flight from Thailand, where I’m finishing my …

Different Generations, Similar Desire for Walkable Communities

  Comments on a blog post about a revitalizing neighborhood in Washington, D.C., claimed that older people often don’t care about having amenities such as shopping and health care within walking distance. They can live in the suburbs and have everything they need. Affordable housing in urban areas, one person argued, better serves younger people who work. But, as an author of the recently released AARP Public Policy Institute (PPI) What Is Livable? Report, I can tell you the opposite is true: …

Your Town Tells You to Move. Would You?

Imagine that you’ve lived in the same neighborhood for most of your life. Your friends, your family, your personal history are all rooted there. Sure, the neighborhood isn’t as desirable as it once was. It’s fallen on hard times, and there’s a lot of crime. But it’s home. Then the town decides that your neighborhood is a dump. It wants to make the working-class area more upscale by “revitalizing” it, but that means displacing you and your neighbors, most of …

Baseball Brings People (and Places) Together

I am a lifelong baseball fan. I grew up going with my dad to Yankees Stadium and watching Whitey Ford throw fastballs. Decades later, when the Montreal Expos brought baseball back to Washington, D.C., and became the Nationals, I threw my support behind them. And even though my Nats didn’t live up to the media hype of this season, I’ll be with them through thick and thin. Over the past 20 years, cities across the country have been developing baseball …

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

In 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 …