Javascript is not enabled.

Javascript must be enabled to use this site. Please enable Javascript in your browser and try again.

What is a Livable Community? - AARP Skip to content

Take control of your brain health with Staying Sharp! Try it today.

 

What is a Livable Community?

The term means different things to different people. Here’s our definition

A livable community is one that is safe and secure, has affordable and appropriate housing and transportation options, and offers supportive community features and services. Once in place, those resources:

  • enhance personal independence;
  • allow residents to remain in their homes and communities as they age; and
  • foster residents' engagement in the community's civic, economic, and social life.

Livability Principles

Illustration, People Enjoying Park, Livable Communities

Getty Images

Livable, age-friendly communities make for happier, healthier residents of every age, in all life stages.


"A livable community is one that is safe and secure, has affordable and appropriate housing and transportation options, and offers supportive community features and services." AARP Policy Book, Chapter 9: Livable Communities

Communities can be designed to promote physical independence, dignity, and opportunities for community engagement and choice as the population ages. But proper planning is needed. People of varying physical abilities can live more independent and meaningful lives through innovative design and modifications. Technological advances also have a significant impact. Accessibility features, types of activities, facilities, housing, road design, walkability, transportation, and supportive services all affect whether and for how long people can remain in their community as they age.

The AARP Policy Book broadly highlights the major land-use, housing, and transportation policies that support successful aging.

Policymakers on the federal, state, and local levels have important roles to play in designing and maintaining — and at times, retrofitting — communities to be active places where residents of all ages, including those 50 and older, can participate fully.

The following principles set out the broad goals for policymakers, both in establishing such communities generally and in the specific areas of land use, housing, and transportation.

Read Chapter 9 of the AARP Policy Book to learn more about: 

  • Creating Livable and Sustainable Communities
  • Effective Planning
  • Housing
  • Affordable Housing
  • Housing Accessibility
  • Supportive Services in Housing
  • Fair Housing
  • Maintaining and Repairing Housing
  • Transportation
  • Transportation Planning
  • Safe Driving and Livable Travel Environments
  • Vehicle Design and Safety
  • Vehicle Automation and Fully Self-Driving Cars
  • Community Transportation
  • Accessible Transportation

Access the complete AARP Policy Book

Get the "In a Livable Community ..." poster (available in 5 language)

Page updated 2019


Stay Informed!

If you don't yet subscribe to the free AARP Livable Communities e-Newsletter — which is where we announce news and new resources — sign-up now. The publication is weekly and award-winning. You can unsubscribe at any time. 

AARP Livable Communities Newsletter