Thursday, July 3, 2014

A Real-Life Demonstration of an Elder-Friendly Community

This was a cool idea. Governing reported on a project in Atlanta where for 2 days, regional planners took over a neighborhood and marked it up to show what it would look like if it were an elder-friendly community. Atlanta Shows What a Senior-Friendly Neighborhood Looks Like explains how this happened 

The Atlanta Regional Commission, the area’s metropolitan planning organization, took over two blocks of the city's Sweet Auburn neighborhood to demonstrate that features that cater to an older population also make life better for children and young adults too.  Volunteers marked off wider sidewalks and a protected bike lane ...  They set up a health clinic and a farmer’s market. The courtyard in a 14-story retirement home featured an oversized chess board, gardening classes and other activities aimed at giving residents accessible entertainment.

According to the story, Atlanta is facing a particular challenge as a result of a recent report showing that almost 90% of elders in Atlanta would not have good access to transportation  by 2015.  The planners joined with "Mike Lydon, a leader in the “tactical urbanism” movement. The idea is to use low-cost, local resources to demonstrate potential changes that could improve a neighborhood."

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