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Lifelong Communities: A Regional Guide to Growth and Longevity


Atlanta, Georgia has one of the fastest growing and unhealthiest older adult populations in the country. As the older adult population continues to grow, community design and development approaches must be altered to meet the mobility and social needs of older adults. The Atlanta Regional Commission produced this report to summarize the findings of a nine-day Lifelong Communities charrette that examined how Atlanta communities could be improved to become places where people of all ages and abilities can live for as long as they like.

Key Points

The report discusses the key characteristics of lifelong communities such as healthy living, connectivity, pedestrian access and transit options, mixed-use development, social interaction, and diverse dwelling types. During the span of the nine-day charrette, Lifelong Communities standards and zoning codes were developed, as well as five conceptual master plans and regional development principles to meet the needs of older adults.

The charrette brought together experts from all community development areas including planners, service providers, designers, transportation engineers, and members of the healthcare community to create a cross disciplinary approach to community development. The report features five case studies that are provided as templates for how to transform current suburban areas into Lifelong Communities.

How to Use

Planners and local officials can use this report to gain an understanding of how to make their communities more age-friendly by altering current development practices, focusing on community accessibility for residents of all ages, and collaborating with all areas of the development process to create comprehensive plans for aging communities. The case studies provided in the report can be used by planners, local officials, and community leaders to understand the challenges and opportunities of implementing Lifelong Communities.

View full report: Lifelong Communities: A Regional Guide to Growth and Longevity (PDF – 5.8 MB)

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