According to AARP Public Policy Institute research, more than 100 million Americans do not drive. Yet our transportation systems are still built primarily around individual car ownership. Ride-hailing services, like Lyft, along with public transportation systems are beginning to work together to reimagine how our future transportation infrastructure can improve quality of life for people of every age and background.
While innovations in transportation tend to be viewed as a trend unique to urban communities and settings, new technologies are now enabling service providers to capitalize on a previously untapped market: rural communities. With a unique set of challenges and opportunities—and enabled by today’s technology—these rural markets allow transportation service providers to rethink the kinds of services they provide, how to scale those services, and how to make them more accessible. That movement toward innovation in rural markets needs to grow.
The United States is quickly approaching a historic milestone. By 2035, the number of older adults age 65 and older will exceed the number of children for the first time in American history. Each day, 10,000 people turn 65, and that will continue for years to come. This will impact states and communities and reshape industries.
The aging-in-community of a rapidly aging population demands a fundamental shift in planning in order to minimize the economic, social and health challenges that will otherwise overwhelm communities. Nearly 90 percent of Americans 65 and older tell us that they want to age in their homes or communities. And two-thirds of the 85-plus population — the fastest-growing demographic in the U.S. — has at least one disability. We must create communities that are livable across the life span and spectrum of abilities.
Too many of us are outgrowing our homes and communities. They’re not becoming too small, like children’s clothes, but they just don’t fit us very well as we get older.
I have a long-standing point of view: The issue of livable communities is too big and important for any one sector to solve the challenge. For there to be a sustainable movement to create more walkable, livable communities across the country, every sector needs to be at the table. A healthy, balanced and successful effort requires that each group has its place, making different contributions.
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