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What Makes a Community Livable?

SMART GROWTH A development philosophy that concentrates growth in the center of a city to avoid urban sprawl, and advocates compact, walkable, bicycle-friendly land use, with a range of housing choices.

MIXED-USE DEVELOPMENT Building projects that include a blend of retail, offices, and housing in close proximity, to reduce the need to travel outside the community.

NEW URBANISM A philosophy of city planning that promotes the integration of mixed-use development with public transportation, pedestrian-friendly walkways, and sustainability.

EASY-LIVING STANDARDS A system of design that makes it easier for people to age in place, featuring, for instance, wide doorways (at least 36 inches, to accommodate strollers and wheelchairs), zero-step entryways, and a bathroom on the first floor.

Whether you're looking for a place to retire or simply seeking new surroundings, our interactive Location Scout—designed especially for AARP The Magazine readers—can help you find the perfect place. It's free and easy to use.

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