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AARP New York and Westchester County were awarded two prestigious international awards by LIVCom, the world’s only international awards competition for best practices focused on improving the quality of life of people through the creation of Livable Communities.
AARP’s project on Livable Communities, titled “A Vision for Ages: Bringing People and Places Together,” received a SILVER for “Socio Economic Projects" and a "Bronze" in the "Whole City" categories.
The Westchester/AARP New York model focuses on creating a volunteer and stakeholder infrastructure to scale up the county’s Livable Communities efforts. Westchester County adopted AARP’s Livable Communities agenda and AARP provided the critical tools, including Create The Good toolkits, to engage county stakeholders, legislators, and government agencies to organize nine Regional Councils.
It also engaged citizens' groups, church groups, and community and civic organizations to form "villages" where neighbors help neighbors. A "village movement" has now been established throughout the county with 150 villages and 15,000 volunteers engaged. These collaborations have resulted in safe streets audits, engaged citizen advocates, improved crosswalks, an asset mapping tool, and a web site to help residents locate Livable Community assets by zip code.
AARP New York's Complete Streets initiative is a perfect example of a local project that successfully engaged stakeholders and citizen advocates throughout the 43 municipalities in Westchester County to build safer streets in each locale. Similar initiatives have taken place to provide caregiver support, transportation services, and telephone reassurance. AARP New York looks forward to building on this model in other counties throughout the state.
During the presentation in Chicago, Westchester County Department of Senior Services and Programs Commissioner Mae Carpenter, AARP State Director Lois Wagh Aronstein, and AARP Associate State Director Will Stoner presented at session transmitted on the web via satellite. AARP New York demonstrated how AARP’s tools and resources add value to the Westchester project and how this model can be replicated throughout New York State and the country.
The LivCom Awards were launched in 1997 and are endorsed by the United Nations Environment Program.
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