Can Streets Make Us Healthy? Open Streets Can

America’s public health crisis has been well documented. More than two-thirds of adults are overweight, and more than 1 in 10 children become obese as early as ages 2 to 5. Boomers have the highest obesity rates of any age group, topping 35 percent in 17 states. Obesity is related to dozens of serious health issues, including diabetes, heart disease and vascular dementia. Traditional public health intervention efforts in the form of nutrition and exercise education and promotion have had …

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: …

What Is a Livable Community, and How Do We Measure One?

Older adults have a diverse range of preferences, needs and constraints. Income, caregiver/disability status, race and ethnicity, location and other personal factors all impact residents’ perspective on the features of their community. To advance our understanding of community livability, we held focus groups and fielded a nationwide survey to look at what older adults want and need in their communities. Their responses addressed many components of AARP’s official definition of a “livable community.” These include safety, affordable and appropriate housing and transportation options, community …