Livable Communities Disaster Recovery Tool Kit

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

Recovery Efforts and the 8 Domains of Livability

FEMA’s partnerships in community recovery are organized by the Recovery Support Functions, which align well with the age-friendly domains used by AARP. (Click on the image to see the infographic.)

The WHO framework identifies eight domains of livability that support active and healthy aging in a community. For a community faced with the complex task of rebuilding itself, the framework can be a useful tool for assessing and planning that effort — for the benefit of both older residents and residents of all ages.

Further, the WHO checklist of essential community features is a useful resource for identifying key areas where improvements to the community can be included in the rebuilding. The eight livability domains, and what they include, are as follows:

1. Outdoor spaces and buildings: The community’s recreational locations and facilities are safe and accessible

2. Transportation: The community features a variety of safe and affordable modes of private and public transportation

3. Housing: The community has a range of housing options, of varying styles and costs

4. Social participation: Residents have access to leisure and cultural activities, and there are opportunities for older residents to participate in social and civic engagement with both their peers and younger people

5. Respect and social inclusion: The community has programs that support and promote ethnic and cultural diversity, as well as programs that encourage multigenerational interaction and dialogue

6. Civic participation and employment: The community provides options for residents, including older residents, to engage in paid work and volunteer activities and to be involved in the formulation of policies relevant to their lives

7. Communication and information: Residents have access to the use of technology to stay connected to the community, friends and family, both near and far

8. Community support and health services: Residents have access to medical care, homecare services (when needed) and programs and places that promote wellness and activity

Jeanne Anthony is a senior program advisor for AARP Livable Communities.

8 Features of an Age-Friendly Community

From the slideshow, "The 8 Domains of Livability."


Our slideshow and downloads of the infographic (pictured above) can help explain how FEMA's Recovery Support Functions and the 8 Domains of Livability align and complement one another.

Topic Alerts

You can get weekly email alerts on the topics below. Just click “Follow.”

Manage Alerts


Please wait...

progress bar, please wait
Livable Communities E-Newsletter promotion

Search Livable Communities

Enter a keyword (topic, name, state, etc.)

One in Three Americans is Now 50 or Older


Follow Us

Livability Index Widget

Livability Index

How livable is your community?

Contact Us

AARP Livable Communities

Do you have questions or suggestions? We want to hear from you. Email us at

For questions about the AARP Livability Index, please email