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Livable New York Resource Manual: Sustainable Communities for all Ages – Design


Universal design in housing, buildings, and communities improves the livability for all community members regardless of age or ability. The Design section of the Livable New York Resource Manual, produced by the New York Office for the Aging, focuses on the impact universal design concepts have on the livability of homes and the community as a whole. This section also addresses key community design features that improve livability for all and encourage aging in place among older residents.

Key Points

This section of the resource manual discusses design principles for housing and community development that foster aging in place and enhance community livability such as complete streets, improved walkability and visitability, pedestrian-friendly community design, smart homes/home automation, and universal design in housing and community buildings.

Livable community design features include:

  1. Residential housing and commercial buildings that accommodate the physical and mental changes people experience as a normal part of the aging process.
  2. Streets that are safe and accessible for residents of all ages and abilities and allow for travel by foot, bicycle, automobile, or public transit.
  3. Neighborhoods that offer a variety of housing types and are within walking distance to community services.

How to Use

Planners, builders, and local officials can use this section of the resource manual to gain an understanding of the role housing and community design plays in creating livable communities for all residents. By understanding how design affects the livability of the entire community, planners and local officials can create comprehensive design plans that promote healthy and successful aging in place.

View full report: Livable New York Resource Manual: Sustainable Communities for all Ages – Design (PDF – 313 KB)

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