As our population ages and people stay healthy and active longer, communities must adapt.
The AARP Network of Age-Friendly Communities helps participating U.S. communities become great places for all ages by adopting 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 health and sustain economic growth. And they make for happier, healthier residents – of all ages.
The AARP Network of Age-Friendly Cities is affiliated with the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Age-Friendly Cities and Communities Program®, an international effort launched in 2006 to help cities prepare for rapid population aging and the parallel trend of urbanization. The program currently has 137 participating communities in 21 countries around the world, as well as 10 country affiliates representing over 1,000 communities.
AARP’s participation in this program advances efforts to help people live easily and comfortably in their homes and communities as they age, and encourages older citizens to take a more active role and have their voices heard. Initiatives focus on areas such as housing, caregiving, community engagement, volunteering, social inclusion, and combating isolation among older citizens.
AARP works with local officials and partner organizations around the U.S. to identify communities for membership in the Age-Friendly Network; facilitates their enrollment; and guides them through the implementation and assessment process. To date, communities in ten states have joined the AARP Network: New York City, NY; Washington, DC; Philadelphia, PA; Portland, OR; Austin, TX; Des Moines, IA; Honolulu, HI; Auburn Hills, MI; Wichita, KS; Westchester County, Brookhaven, and Chemung County, NY; and Macon-Bibb County, GA.
Members of the AARP Network of Age-Friendly Communities become part of a global network of communities committed to giving their older residents the opportunity to live rewarding, productive, and safe lives. Benefits of membership include:
- Access to a global network of participating communities, as well as aging and civil society experts
- Access to key information about the program: latest news, best practices, events, results, challenges and new initiatives
- Opportunities for partnerships with other cities, both domestic and overseas
- Mentoring and peer-review evaluation by other member cities
- Public recognition of the community’s commitment to become more age-friendly
- Speaking engagements at conferences and events hosted by AARP and promotion through AARP’s media channels
There is no fee to join the AARP Network of Age-Friendly Communities.
AARP and WHO: A Shared Vision
The WHO’s Age-Friendly Community concept closely aligns with AARP’s livable communities policies and initiatives.
AARP Livable Communities work supports the efforts of communities to become Great Places for all Ages. We believe that communities should provide safe, walkable streets, better housing and transportation options, access to key services, and opportunities for residents to participate in community activities.
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.
Key initiatives include Complete Streets advocacy, community engagement workshops and programs and advocacy to promote universal design. The AARP Foundation is dedicated to solving housing, isolation, and other problems facing vulnerable older adults.