APA and AARP Partnering on Aging and Livable Communities Initiative

APA’s International Division has received a grant to partner with AARP International to implement the Divisions’ Council initiative, Aging and Livable Communities. The initiative seeks to educate planners regarding awareness building techniques, tools and best practices for planners from the US-focused research of APA’s earlier efforts under the initiative to those that can be gleaned from researching internationally.

APA’s LGBTQ & Planning Division is participating in the project to learn from existing initiatives that may provide insight on how best to plan for LGBTQ seniors and their needs and also to provide information to the project team regarding issues that LGBTQ persons encounter as they age.


In the U.S., nearly 20 percent of the population will be over age 65 by 2030—the fastest growing demographic being 85+. AARP surveys show that almost 90% of seniors want to age in their homes or communities. Yet current data and population projections highlight the challenges that this demographic change poses and the shift in planning that will need to take place in order to minimize the social, economic and health challenges that will otherwise overwhelm communities. Some of the considerations for this age cohort include the fact that:

• Two-thirds of those 85+ today have at least one disability;
• 3 of 5 age-80+ households consist of a single person, and the number of people 75+ living alone is expected to double from 2015-2035;
• People live on average for a decade after they reach “driving retirement.” When they walk instead, they comprise a disproportionate percentage of pedestrian fatalities;
• Falls account for 68% of seniors’ hospitalizations.

Countries around the world have similar concerns, and European countries are on average approximately five years ahead of the United States aging curve. They are addressing similar challenges around making the built environment, housing, transportation and other services appropriate and accessible for people across increasingly long lifespans. This initiative presents a great opportunity to learn from international best practices and apply them to planning for aging in United States communities.

Schedule and Outcomes

The initiative kicked off in September 2017. To date the team has designed and distributed an online survey and developed a webinar for World Town Planning Day in November.

Additional outcomes of this initiative will include:

• A final report and article for an APA publication and the International Division’s newsletter, Interplan;
• A session at the 2018 National Planning Conference in New Orleans;
• A webinar prepared and presented by the International Division aimed at APA planners;
• Development of additional tools and best practices guidance; and
• A plan to further implement the project’s findings

The project is expected to wrap up by June 2018.

Online Survey

As part of this initiative you are welcome to participate in the online planner engagement survey as well as forward it to your planner colleagues. In distributing the survey, the project team seeks to learn how best to engage planners to infuse aging considerations into their ongoing planning work:


The survey will only take 5-10 minutes to complete and will be open through December 14.

If you have any additional questions or are interested in getting involved, please contact Sharon Maclean, AICP at Sharon.E.Maclean@hud.gov

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