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The Parks and Public Spaces Collection

Three free guides about developing and managing outdoor places for people of all ages

Creating Parks and Public Places for People of All Ages

Follow the links below to download or order this free guide, which contains strategies, worksheets and examples of inspiring parks and public spaces nationwide. To find this page again, type


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Public parks are important places for building a sense of community and social belonging. They are spaces that belong to everyone, regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, religion or income.

However, the way parks are designed, maintained and programmed doesn’t always reflect the purpose and promise of such uniquely public spaces. Pinched for funds by competing priorities, many municipalities neglect their park networks or fail to invest in these vital places as their communities grow and change.

Creating Parks and Public Places for People of All Ages: A Step-by-Step Guide was produced by AARP Livable Communities with 8 80 Cities and The Trust for Public Land to highlight the importance of parks — and give community leaders (and park advocates from all corners) tools they can use to both create and improve green spaces and public places for people of all ages.

More About Parks and Outdoor Spaces

The following publications by 8 80 Cities were created with support from AARP and address additional issues that are common to many communities.

Winter Placemaking Guide

8 80 Cities (which is based in Canada) knows that winter needn't require a retreat indoors. The guide provides solutions for how cold-weather places can make their outdoor public spaces welcoming and useful, regardless of how low the temperature falls.

Addressing Homelessness in Parks: An Inclusive Practices Guide

Communities worldwide face a shortage of affordable housing. This guide equips local leaders and advocates with the information they need to adopt compassionate, respectful and dignified responses to the use of public parks by unhoused people.

Page published 2018, updated September 2021


Create Places That Pop!

The "recipe" filled Pop-Up Placemaking Tool Kit is a practical guide to demonstrating and implementing positive change. Learn more about this free publication »

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The weekly, award-winning AARP Livable Communities e-Newsletter provides local leaders with information and inspiration for making their town, city or neighborhood more livable for older adults and people of all agesSubscribe today!

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