AARP Livable Communities work supports the efforts of communities to become Great Places for ALL Ages. We believe that communities should provide such features as safe, walkable streets, better housing and transportation options, access to key services, and opportunities for residents to participate in community activities. Well-designed, livable communities promote better health and sustain economic growth. And they make for happier, healthier residents – of all ages.
To empower communities across the country to better respond to the needs of their residents, AARP targets local officials, policy makers, citizen activists and people 50+ in our work across advocacy, policy, education and influence in key livable communities issue areas: housing, mobility/transportation, land use and planning, and community design. Livable communities work generally takes place at the local level, where many decisions are made about community design, development, and infrastructure. Thirty-six AARP state offices will advance our work in this area in 2013.
Our key initiatives include Complete Streets advocacy, community engagement workshops, the AARP Age-Friendly Communities network, and efforts to promote universal design. In addition, we recently launched our AARP Livable Communities Resource Hub, a go-to resource for local leaders for critical information on livable communities.
Complete Streets Advocacy
Because we believe that our roads should be built for all users, AARP is a strong Complete Streets advocate. Complete Streets is a transportation policy initiative that requires states and municipalities to plan for users of all ages and abilities in road design. It is currently a hot topic in the transportation world and among community planners because it shifts the way we think about our roads from ways to support cars to a more holistic vision that supports all modes of travel. From AARP’s perspective, Complete Streets is a key strategy to make streets and sidewalks safer for older drivers and pedestrians and to expand mobility options for those who cannot drive. Because of this, Complete Streets has emerged as our primary transportation policy initiative. Our advocacy efforts in this area span across the local, state, and federal levels.