Hosted in Dallas, the 2017 AARP Livable Communities National Conference was an opportunity for elected officials, planning professionals, local leaders and community advocates from throughout the nation to share ideas, best practices and solutions for making towns, cities and communities more livable for people of all ages.
It may seem a bit of a disconnect, but Texas, an expansive state connected by hundreds and hundreds of miles of highway, is home to a new study showing that pedestrian-oriented, activity-friendly “walkable communities” result in a healthier and more socially supportive and engaged population.
Only so much can be done to turn Texas - or, for that matter, any state, town or community with vast distances and open expanses of land - into a walkable place. But with the help of AARP Texas and community leaders, several Texas cities have been taking big steps toward making their neighborhoods more walkable and age-friendly.
The music, film and interactive gathering called South by Southwest (SXSW or just South by to its friends) has just wrapped up in Texas. The artist once again known as Prince was there, along with 2,200 young bands; so was the "inventor" of the Internet, Al Gore. Bill Gates and Stevie Nicks were in the house. If something was new or cool, like 3D printing or Google Glass, it was there, too. Everyone was talking about "storytelling" - and the challenge of breaking through the noise to connect with audiences.
When it comes to tastes in music, Gen Y members probably think of boomers as those outdated, crotchety cranks who keep all the buttons on their car radios preset to classic-rock stations. (And in fairness, in our youth we probably felt the same way about the pre-boomer generation that spawned our heroes Bob Dylan and John Lennon.) But either way, Brent Grulke certainly demolished the stereotype that hipness and an appreciation for the musical Zeitgeist has anything to do with when you happened to be born.
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