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Is Your Community Livable for All Ages?


The U.S. population is aging, and community leaders need to ask themselves if their community is prepared to meet the unique needs of the growing 65+ population. These demographics will affect local governments around the country, which is why, in June, ICMA announced its partnership with AARP to reach, educate, and engage city, town, and county managers on strategies for supporting the aging population. One of the results of this partnership was the development of an October 27 webinar featuring the cities of San Antonio and Auburn Hills discussing their involvement in the AARP Network for Age-Friendly Communities. (You can view this webinar free on-demand here.) On December 8 will be another webinar showcasing AARP’s Livability Index tool, which helps local governments determine how well their neighborhoods support residents across the lifespan. (You can register for this free webinar here.) To learn more about other resources from AARP for local leaders, check out this blog post from ICMA’s Center for Sustainable Communities. I have also identified the following five useful resources to support your community’s efforts:

Growing Efforts to Aid Dementia Sufferers

On October 18 the Boston Globe published this story about how municipalities across the country are implementing “dementia-friendly” programs to help prepare for the 16 million Americans expected to have Alzheimer’s by 2050. Learn More Here

Atlanta Regional Commission: Lifelong Communities

The Atlanta Regional Commission is the intergovernmental coordination agency for the local governments in a 10-county area in Georgia. To help ensure all these communities are livable for all ages, the agency launched the Lifelong Communities program to promote housing and transportation options, encourage healthy lifestyles, and expand information about and access to services. Check Out Their Webpage

What Are Cities Doing to Prepare for a Large Increase in the Senior Population?

ICMA member Joseph Collins in July posted this Knowledge Network question.  In the responses, there are many resources on planning for an aging population. View the Responses Here

5 Ways to Know If Your Community Is "Age-Friendly"

Melissa Stanton, editor and project manager, AARP Livable Communities, outlines 5 questions to help you know if your community is age-friendly. Read Here

American Planning Association: Aging and Livable Communities

The American Planning Association has created and identified a multitude of resources to help your local planners account for the upcoming growth of citizens 65 and older. Access the Resources Here

You can access additional resources on the aging Knowledge Network topic page.

  In the Know CTA

Of the things your community has done to become age-friendly for all residents, what has had the biggest impact? Share your responses below.

Douglas Shontz

Knowledge Network Research and Content Development Associate