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, …

Indianapolis Cultural Trail: Known by Few, Used by Many

If there were an award for the most under-appreciated trail network, Indianapolis would be a contender. Home to some of the fastest race cars on earth, many Hoosiers leave their cars behind to enjoy the city’s futuristic people-mover system, or to walk and bike on what is undoubtedly one of the best trail systems in America. Earlier this year, the Indianapolis Cultural Trail opened with eight miles of great places to bike and walk. The Cultural Trail is a uniquely …

How You Can Make Your Town Safe and Walkable for All

All Sarah Clark Stuart wanted was for her family to be able to safely access the Schuylkill River Trail, just across the tracks from the Philadelphia neighborhood where she lived. But the passing of freight trains made the crossing unsafe, especially for her then-young children, and also for the many older adults who lived nearby. For them, the trail was an invaluable place to exercise or safely travel by foot or bicycle. It also built a sense of community. But …