Livable Communities Disaster Recovery Tool Kit

How to rebuild a town, city or neighborhood to be a great place for people of all ages

PART 3: AARP Livable Communities Rebuilding Resources

The AARP Livable Communities website — — contains reports, action plans, studies, interviews, images and more about housing, transportation, Complete Streets, walkability, livability and age-friendly places. Following are just a few of our featured resources and programs.

Tupelo: Before

BEFORE: A main roadway in Tulepo, Mississippi. — Courtesy of the WALC Institute (


An age-friendly community is a community that works for people of all ages. Visit to learn how your town or city can become part of the AARP Network of Age-Friendly Communities.

For additional information, visit the AARP Livable Communities website and subscribe to the free AARP Livable Communities Monthly e-Newsletter. Additionally, AARP staff in the AARP state offices are local resources.

For any other questions, write to us at

Tupelo: After

AFTER: A photovision of what the same location could look like. — Courtesy of the WALC Institute (


An 11-part package of comprehensive, easy-to-read livability resources created by AARP Livable Communities and the Walkable and Livable Communities Institute, the Livability Fact Sheets series can be used to learn about and explain what makes a city, town or neighborhood a great place for people of all ages.

Covering a broad range of topics including mixed-use development and density, sidewalks, street trees, road diets and more, the fact sheets are designed as an introduction-level resource.

Each fact sheet is a four-page PDF document that can be read online or downloaded and printed. References cited throughout the fact sheets serve as ways to find more detailed and technical resources, case studies and examples. The topics covered by the fact sheets provide vital information to a community needing to rebuild after a natural disaster, in a manner that is sustainable and supportive of residents of all ages. The fact sheets can be found at


When redeveloping transportation systems, measures must be taken to improve the quality, design and accessibility of the local transportation network so it can meet the needs of all residents, including the young and the old, drivers and nondrivers.

Implementing Complete Streets policies is an effective way to begin improving these networks. As a nationally recognized approach to inclusive transportation planning, Complete Streets are designed to provide safe, convenient and comfortable travel conditions for pedestrians, motorists, bicyclists and transit users of all ages and abilities.

AARP’s Complete Streets resources include case studies, best practice examples and model legislation that supports the development of the regulatory foundation for Complete Streets, if such guidelines don’t already exist in the community or state in which recovery work is underway. 

For additional information and tools that support the implementation of Complete Streets, visit the National Complete Streets Coalition.


When it is necessary to rebuild housing after a disaster, it’s useful to do so by employing universal design principles.

An inclusive design concept, universal design seeks to create buildings, products and environments that can be used by all people regardless of age and physical ability, without the need for adaptations and modifications.

Based on a comprehensive understanding and consideration of the broad range of human abilities over a lifetime, universal design seeks to pre-accommodate as many of these needs as possible. It eliminates the stereotypes of “normal” and “special needs” by providing more inclusive design models that expand the usefulness of a structure or product as broadly as possible. 

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