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Breakout Sessions: Day 2

2017 AARP Livable Communities National Conference, Dallas, Texas

The following sessions are listed in alphabetical order. PDFs of the presentations or handouts are available for some. To see the day's complete schedule, visit the main page for the 2017 AARP Livable Communities National Conference.

Engaging Residents for Business District Improvements

Pittsburgh's Bloomfield neighborhood has a significant population of residents who are successfully aging in place, in large part due to the walkable nature of the community and proximity to a thriving business district. However, the business district is noticeably lacking in amenities such as benches and planters that could support and protect pedestrians. To remedy the situation the Bloomfield Development Corporation (BDC) temporarily installed four benches and a variety of planters to demonstrate potential pieces for permanent installation. Using a comprehensive outreach plan, BDC staff and volunteers then surveyed community members about their preferences. This session will detail the community outreach efforts and lessons learned during the process.

  • Nicole Boler, Planning Associater, Michael Baker International
  • Christina Howell, Executive Director, Bloomfield Development Corporation

Future of Housing: Designing and Creating an Ageless Home

For the AARP Future of Housing initiative, AARP and AARP Foundation collaborated with several like-minded partners to create the home of the future, an "ageless" home that's suitable for residents of all ages and life stages. In this session participants will learn how partners from distinct industries worked together to find a real-life solution for accessible housing, and they'll learn who the initiative can be a model for communities nationwide. Attendees will also learn about and see a demonstration of an online tool kit that has been created to inform and inspire homeowners and builders to make barrier-free homes for people who want to age in place.

  • David Brown, CEO, Home Matters
  • Shannon Guzman, Policy Research Senior Analyst, AARP Public Policy Institute
  • Rodney Harrell, Director of Livability and Thought Leadership, AARP Public Policy Institute

Hear, See, Feel: How to Influence Cross-Sector Leaders

Engaging a broad network of cross-sector support is integral to the success of age-friendly communities. Learn three replicable approaches to ensure that the work in your community is given the priority and recognition it deserves. Participants will (1) learn about creating meaningful experiences through a variety of media to influence leaders, (2) learn how and why to re-think the approach and presentation of age-friendly information, and (3) be inspired to advocate with and for older adults and individuals with disabilities.

  • Alex Arkeilpane, Creative Director, FunkHouse Media
  • Ahsia Badi,  OTL/R, MPH, Senior Policy Associate, Center for Health Policy and Programs, The New York Academy of Medicine
  • Katie White, Age-Friendly Community Coordinator, Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission

Moving L.A. Into an Age-Friendly Future

In November 2016, a region that pioneered freeway traffic congestion and suburban sprawl decided to do something about it. An overwhelming 71 percent of Los Angeles County voters approved "Measure M," a sales tax ballot measure that has the potential to return Los Angeles to its often-overlooked past, where pedestrians, cyclists and public transit riders could move around just as easily as motorists. As part of AARP's mission to go local and make communities more livable, the AARP California saw the opportunity to run a campaign to support Measure M. The state office joined an all-star cast of civic leaders (including Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti) and organizations to win the day.

  • David Azevedo, Senior Program Specialist, AARP California
  • Jessica Meaney, Executive Director, Investing in Place
  • Stephanie Ramirez, Associate State Director, AARP California


Created in 2014, NeighborWalks promotes the practice of walking for health and raises awareness about and support for walkability and pedestrian safety. The collaborative walking program advances livable and age-friendly community policies and practices through volunteer and community engagement through introducing attendees to the Livable Communities effort and the "8 Domains of Livability" framework. Participants will hear about the challenges and opportunities involved in starting a local walking program — and dealing with the growing pains of popularity.

  • Elaine Freisen-Strang, State President, AARP Oregon 
  • Carmel Perez Snyder, Associate State Director of Outreach, AARP Oregon 

The Age-Friendly Journey: From Assessment to Implementation

Assessment is the first step to creating a plan that will guide the work of cities, towns, villages, counties and states to create environments that support their aging population and promote quality of life, independence, wellness and active participation in the community. In this workshop,participants will hear about the age-friendly assessment work in the urban centers of Bangor and Augusta, Maine, and about the plans that were implemented to meet what residents said they needed to improve the transportation options in their city. Participants will also learn how a five-community regional effort in rural Maine responded to the assessment in which the Bethel Area Age-Friendly Community Initiative developed a sustainable transportation program that built on community and regional strengths and honored the preferences of residents. (PDF)

  • Joanne Binette, Senior Research Advisor, AARP Policy, Research and International Affairs
  • Allen Cressy, Advisory Council Chairman, Bethel Area Age-Friendly Community Initiative
  • Sara Grant, Co-Chair, Augusta Age-Friendly
  • Patricia Oh, Livable Communities Consultant, AARP

Transportation Equity

Transportation policy in the United States and the resulting infrastructure investment of the past 100 years has resulted in tremendous mobility for many Americans. But it has also left many isolated. This session will share concrete examples of how transportation investment decisions have exacerbated economic and social inequity. Experts from the Center for Social Inclusion and Policy Link will share how they and others have successfully engaged diverse stakeholders to overcome transportation barriers. Panelists will offer transportation policy and investment solutions that result in people of all ages, incomes and abilities being able to participate in the economic, civic and social lives of their communities. (PDF)

  • Anita Cozart, Senior Director, Policy Link 
  • Shawna Davie, Project Manager, Race Forward/Center for Social Inclusion
  • Jana Lynott, AICP, Senior Strategic Policy Advisor, AARP Public Policy Institute

All the Conference Links

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