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Opportunities for Creating Livable Communities

The most common barriers to creating livable communities are examined in this AARP Public Policy Institute report by Mia R. Oberlink of the Visiting Nurse Service of New York's Center for Home Care Policy and Research, offering examples of how communities around the country have realized increased housing and transportation choices for older adults and other community members.

There is increasing recognition by AARP and other aging advocates and researchers that many of the solutions for successful aging will arise through multi-faceted local planning and decision-making-be it land development planning, zoning, transportation planning, road design, or housing policy. Each element of the planning process offers opportunities to create more livable areas. But success is often dependent on overcoming one or more seemingly intractable barriers, many of which are discussed in this report.

Despite these barriers, many communities are making great strides and developing innovative strategies to promote livability for people of all ages. AARP's Public Policy Institute hopes that the framework introduced in this report will provide planners, regulators, policymakers, and community advocates with a clear understanding of how these common barriers affect the housing and transportation choices of older adults, as well as spark new ideas for discussion and implementation in their communities. (35 pages)

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