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.
"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
- Affordable Housing
- Housing Accessibility
- Supportive Services in Housing
- Fair Housing
- Maintaining and Repairing Housing
- 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
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