Friday, September 6, 2013

More on Aging in Place, Livable Communities, and Those Autonomous Cars

Happy man

I was doing some research on a paper I am writing and started looking at what other professions, especially local governments, are doing about the aging population and whether there is any planning being done to accommodate the boomers (of course), as well as others who are aging (that includes everyone, actually).

I was quite surprised at the amount of interesting information available simply by doing a Google search.  I am a member of the American Society on Aging (ASA) and always thought their journal, Generations, to be forward thinking. (BTW, don't type in two "a"s before the "g" in the web address or you will end up on a different webpage). 

Since I was specifically looking for local governments in my Google search, I came up with a number of good sources. Narrowing them down to the most helpful for me is Volume 33 of Generations, Issue #2 (entire issue actually). In volume 33, issue #4 , I found helpful the article by Arthur C. Nelson, Catching the Next Wave:  Older Adults and the 'New Urbanism';  and in volume 34, issue #3, Christine Kennedy, The City of 2050--An Age-Friendly, Vibrant, Intergenerational Community.  (I am not giving you the hyperlinks to the individual articles-you need to be a member of ASA to access them, or get them through your library).

 I am also using the second report on The Maturing of America: Communities Moving Forward for an Aging Population. The first report, in 2005, was slightly over 30 pages. The 2011 report is 68 pages. Some cities have been doing some pretty innovate things to help their communities become more of "communities for a lifetime" and I've been reading about the need to make communities more walkable and accessible.

As far as the autonomous cars (you know you want one too), they should be available by the end of the decade. I got quite excited when our local newspaper ran a story that Florida was at the forefront of the autonomous cars' future. (It's nice for the state to be at the forefront of something other than the things we have been in the headlines for --- and you know what I'm talking about...really it's now 2013; you need to move past the 2000 election). Evidently Florida is one of three states that would allow testing them on the roads according to the article by Craig Kopp that ran in the Tampa Bay Times on August 29, 2013:

And, Florida is vying to be a testing ground for this vehicle of the not-too-distant future. Florida is one of just three states (California and Nevada are the others) that have put laws on the books to govern the testing of autonomous cars.

Where can I sign up to test one?

Becky Morgan


Photo by Kim Dayton.  ©2008

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