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x-Step 2: Planning

Now that your community is in the network, it’s time to act

Illustration of a main street, people walking, AARP Network of Age-Friendly Communities, Livable Communities


An age-friendly community is livable for people of all ages.

Once enrolled in the AARP Network of Age-Friendly Communities a community has two years to develop an action plan.

The action plan is based on assessments that are conducted within the community to identify needs within the eight domains the World Health Organization (WHO) has identified as influencing the health and quality of life of older adults.

World Health Organization Documents

Key Steps to Include In The Planning Phase

1. Establish a way to involve older people in all stages of the age-friendly cities and communities process, such as by creating a citizen's advisory group or age-friendly committee

2. Conduct a comprehensive and inclusive baseline assessment of the age-friendliness of the community. Ask questions about housing; outdoor spaces and buildings; transportation and streets; health and wellness; social participation; inclusion and educational opportunities; volunteering and civic engagement.

(And ask yourself questions, too, such as: "What problems do older adults encounter in the community?" "What age-friendly features does the community now have?" "What's missing that would enhance the health, participation and security of older residents?")

3. Develop a three-year community-wide action plan based on assessment findings. The action plan is what guides the day-to-day work and should include:

  • A clear vision about what an age-friendly community
  • A set of values that include the voices of people age 50+
  • The strategic "8 Domains of Livability" framework
  • An overall goal, such as "Enable people of all ages to … proactively participate in community activities, be treated with respect, regardless of their age; remain healthy and active, and receive appropriate support if they can no longer look after themselves."
  • A statement about what must be achieved
  • Activities for reaching the plan's goals and objectives
  • A schedule for when each activity must begin and end within the three-year action plan time period
  • Identification of the organization or individual who will be responsible for each activity
  • A list of the resources needed to complete the tasks

4. Identify indicators to monitor progress against this plan

Useful Resources

Next Step: Implementation. »

Page updated March 2015

Age-Friendly Communities Tool Kit Resources 


  • The Member List
    See the current roster of enrolled communities in the United States as well as their action plans and other information

  • Preparing the Membership Materials
    Find the membership application, sample letters of commitment, resolutions and more







Collage of AARP Livable Communities reports

Resources from the 2015 conference.

The Annual Conference

Each fall, AARP Livable Communities hosts a conference of community representatives and AARP staff. Download the presentations and materials from each of our annual learning events: 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013



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