Over 279,000 residents in the Centralina Region of North Carolina were age 60+ as of 2008, with more than 76,000 of these older residents living in rural areas. The report examines a regional workshop of the Aging in Place Initiative created by Partners for Livable Communities and the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging with support from MetLife Foundation. This workshop, the sixth in a series, was conducted in Charlotte, North Carolina and addressed the central role of transportation and planning to create livable communities for all ages in the rapidly aging city.
The report focuses on effective and appropriate planning for the region that will ensure all local communities are safe, walkable, and allow for older residents to age in place. The Centralina Region was chosen for the location of this workshop because it is a popular retirement spot for older adults and it encompasses urban, suburban, and rural areas. In creating livable communities, land use planners and designers must consider many factors including environmental consequences and the economic development of their communities.
Existing initiatives intended to promote aging in place include:
- The Aging in Place Task Force was created in Davidson, North Carolina to accommodate the needs of the small town’s older adult population by providing neighborhoods with affordable housing varieties that are within walking distance of local parks and amenities.
- The Status of Seniors Initiative implemented in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina made specific land use recommendations to make communities more age-friendly, such as establishing a development policy to encourage multiple uses of public and private spaces that could host senior activities, and designing new housing innovations in existing neighborhoods that are walkable and near public transit.
This report is an excellent and useful resource for community planners and local officials seeking specific ways to enhance the livability of their community for all residents regardless of age or ability.
How to Use
Challenges and potential solutions are offered throughout the plan that are intended to aid community planners and local officials in creating planning efforts to enhance the livability of their communities. Additionally, the report provides an outline of the existing best practices in the Centralina Region, as well as across the nation. Community planners, local officials, and community leaders can use this report to gain an understanding of the significance of creating livable communities in allowing older adults to age in place.