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AARP Commits $30,000 to Community Design Projects

Two Vermont communities will be selected to receive $15,000 each in funding this fall from AARP Vermont to promote community design efforts aimed at improving walkability for active seniors.

See Also: Ready to Start Walking for Exercise?

“This initiative is an extension of the work our office has been doing on livable communities and transportation since 2006,” said Greg Marchildon, AARP Vermont state director.  “Delivering this intensive program of education and actual planning will lead to actionable recommendation that we hope will really make a difference for residents in these communities.”  

A central element of the award includes very hands on Active Living Workshop with Dan Burden, an internationally recognized authority on livable and sustainable communities, healthy streets, traffic calming, and bicycle and pedestrian programs. He is co-founder and executive director of the Walkable and Livable Communities Institute based in Port Townsend, Washington.  

The Active Living Workshops are intended to educate and inspire community leaders and residents to improve livability, walkability and active transportation. The workshops will: help participants recognize how planning and community design influence successful aging, health, and overall livability; give participants an expanded toolkit to draw from to build healthier neighborhoods; and help them better understand how sustainable transportation and land-use patterns work together.  Additional funding will be available towards implementation of one or more of the workshop recommendations and AARP will provide ongoing support to both communities selected.

AARP Vermont has led efforts in the state to promote livable communities for older residents. AARP defines a livable community as one that has affordable and appropriate housing, supportive community services, and adequate mobility options, which together facilitate personal independence and the engagement of residents in civic and social life.

Successful projects will demonstrate strong municipal leadership, diverse buy-in from the community, and a clearly expressed desire for change and the need for a catalyst to get started. Statewide, regional and local government entities and non-profit organizations are eligible to apply. The application deadline is July 22, 2011.  Applications and the RFP document will be available online. Awards will be announced in August, 2011 and workshops will be scheduled for fall of this year.

Find more information about AARP’s vision of livable communities.  

Find more information about Dan Burden and the Walkable and Livable Communities Initiative.

For details about this program or guidance on how to complete a competitive application, contact Jennifer Wallace-Brodeur at 802-951-1313 or jwbrodeur@aarp.org.

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