On the Radar

Aging and Livable Communities


couple walking on a beach

The Aging of America provides an extraordinary opportunity for planners to create plans and policies and help develop and redevelop communities that are more age friendly ... and, therefore, more livable. According to Deborah Howe, Baby Boomers "will swell the ranks of those aged 65-plus from 34.8 million in 2000 to a projected 70.3 million in 2030, ultimately representing 20 percent of the U.S. population."

In this current environment, where livability principles and sustainable communities constitute a priority for the administration, the Divisions Council can take the lead in galvanizing planners to apply the aging filter to planning initiatives and opportunities.

Divisions are rich in knowledge resources and expertise that can help guide the fundamental transformation to communities that are livable for all. Divisions can help frame this transformation rooted in the unique needs of place and community.

If you are interested in contributing to this effort, please contact Ramona Mullahey at ramona.mullahey@hud.gov.

Aging in Place Bibliography

This online resource is designed for planners and researchers seeking an interdisciplinary, annotated bibliography of pertinent literature about Americans' growing desire to remain in their homes and participate in their communities as they age.

This list highlights articles, events, and publications from the American Planning Association and other experts in the field.

Annotated Bibliography on Aging in Place

From APA

Reports, Articles, and Publications

Multigenerational Planning

An issue brief by Mildred E. Warner of Cornell University, part of the Planning Across Generations Project in the Department of City and Regional Planning at Cornell University. The issue briefs in this series outline key points on how planners can successfully adopt multigenerational planning to expand choices for families, increase the independence of people of all ages and create stronger communities across the U.S.

Weaving It Together: A Tapestry of Transportation Funding for Older Adults

This paper by Jana Lynott, Wendy Fox-Grage, and Shannon Guzman highlights the major sources of federal funding that providers can tap to fund transportation for these populations. Learn how transportation services for older adults and persons with disabilities are funded. With a growing population in need of transportation and limited funds for these services, providers need to creatively leverage existing and untapped funding sources to fill gaps in service. Coordination of these limited resources is also key and must be supported by providers and all levels of government.

Full Report (pdf)

In-Brief (pdf)

Policy Options to Improve Specialized Transportation

Aging in Place: A State Survey of Livability Policies and Practices

How the Travel Patterns of Older Adults Are Changing: Highlights From the 2009 National Household Travel Survey

Grantmakers in Aging: Why We're Supporting Age-Friendly Communities

Grantmakers In Aging explains its Community AGEnda: Improving America for All Ages, designed to accelerate the work of five age-friendly projects. Community AGEnda seeks to inspire aging professionals, funders, planners, nonprofits, developers, and people of all ages in joining or starting a project to make their own community more age-friendly.

Livable Community Indicators for Sustainable Aging in Place

Aging in place has the potential to benefit not only older adults, but also their families, their communities, and their governments. The goal of this report is to identify an initial list of indicators that can be measured using information that is readily available to local governments, providing a low-cost way for cities and towns to begin to examine the needs of their aging population.

Creating a Livable Community: Engaging All Generations and Improving Quality of Life

This guide has been created to provide guidance for those at the local level - community leaders, residents, students and more — to identify new ways to address community challenges, implement programs that enhance lives across all generations and create a livable and positive environment for community members.

Age-Friendly Communities: The Movement to Create Great Places to Grow Up and Grow Old in America

This publication introduces private philanthropies and local, state, and federal funders to this new, transformative way of thinking about aging and community development. In it, we survey the current state of the age-friendly community movement, showcase notable examples, and demonstrate how urban, suburban, exurban, and rural communities can get started or advance their work. A searchable database of age-friendly programs across America, a curated collection of implementation tools, and other resources are also available at www.giaging.org/programs-events/community-agenda.

Best Cities for Successful Aging

This Milliken Institute report compares and ranks the performance of 359 metropolitan areas in enabling successful aging, using 78 indicators that determine the overall quality of life for seniors. Download the free report, see how different cities compare, and sort data by category.

Housing an Aging Population — Are We Prepared?

A report from the Center for Housing Policy explores the effects of this coming demographic change on the demand for housing, the challenge of providing meaningful housing choices for older adults of all incomes, and the policies that could help communities across the country respond to the dual challenges of providing older adults with affordable housing and adequate services.

Aging in Place:  A State Survey of Livability Policies and Practices

The vast majority of older adults want to continue to live in their own homes or communities. This report examines state policies that are needed to help older adults age in place. These policies include integrating land use, housing and transportation; efficiently delivering services in the home; providing more transportation choices, particularly for older adults who no longer drive; and improving affordable, accessible housing to prevent social isolation.

Research Report: Aging in Place

In Brief: Aging in Place

Webcast: AARP Solutions Forum

Planning for Multi-Generational Communities

The needs of children and the aging population are linked in a number of ways. These needs are not adequately addressed within many communities, but those that have addressed them have benefited both socially and economically.

Using Smart Growth and Universal Design to Link the Needs of Children and the Aging Population, 2011

Multigenerational Community Planning: Linking the Needs of Children and Older Adults, April 2010

U.S. Communities Struggle to Keep Up With Needs of Aging Population

A new report from the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging reveals that communities have, at best, managed to maintain the status quo for the past six years because of the decline in the overall economy and local government budgets.

Maturing of America II: Executive Summary (pdf)

Maturing of America II: Full Report (pdf)

Aging in Place, Stuck Without Options

Aging in Place, Stuck Without Options, an analysis by the Center for Neighborhood Technology, shows that in just four years, 90 percent of seniors in metro Atlanta will live in neighborhoods with poor access to options other than driving, the worst ranking among metro areas with populations over 3 million. In that size category, metro Atlanta is followed by Riverside-San Bernardino, California, along with Houston, Detroit, and Dallas. Kansas City tops the list for metros of 1 million to 3 million, followed by Oklahoma City, Fort Worth, Nashville, and Raleigh-Durham.

Aging and Smart Growth

Deborah Howe of Portland State University posits that the sprawling, automobile-dominated landscape prevalent throughout the U.S. seriously limits the continued mobility and independence of older people. In this article she advocates transforming our communities so that they are aging-sensitive, making it possible for people to maintain their health and independence even as needs change.

Source: Funders Network for Smart Growth and Communities, Translation Paper Number 7, December 2001