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A Great City for Older Adults: An AARP Survey on the Strengths and Challenges of Growing Old in Burlington

Vermont's Burlington Livable Community Project is a collaborative approach to planning for the demands that an aging population will place on the city, its residents and its resources. The project is led by AARP Vermont in cooperation with the city and a group of some 30 community stakeholder organizations. The multi-year effort aims to provide direction, assess needs and resources and develop recommendations in the areas of housing, transportation and mobility, and community engagement.

As part of this effort, surveys and focus groups are conducted to gain insight into the needs, preferences and expectations of residents continuing to make Burlington their home as they grow older. For this survey, residents were asked for their opinions of – and their experiences with – the city's transportation and mobility options, housing and neighborhoods, and community engagement opportunities.

Overall, the results reveal Burlington to be an appealing environment for most of its age 45-plus residents who seem inclined to stay because of it. However, there are opportunities for making the city better in the areas of mobility, housing, and community engagement, and socio-economic and neighborhood differences that need to be considered to ensure that Burlington remains a great city for older adults.

The telephone survey of a representative sample of 800 age 45+ Burlington residents was conducted for AARP by Woelfel Research, Inc. from November 1st to 14th, 2006. Further information about the survey may be obtained by contacting Katherine Bridges, the report's author, at 207-899-2094. (77 pages)

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