Lifelong villages

Submitted by digital on Mon, 04/04/2016 - 19:50
{"version":"0.3.0","atoms":[],"cards":[],"markups":[["em"],["strong"],["a",["href","http:\/\/\/content\/docs\/White-Papers\/Lifelong%20Villages%20-%202012.pdf","target","_new"]]],"sections":[[1,"h2",[[0,[],0,"A new typology for revitalizing traditional neighborhoods"]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"The negative impacts of sprawling suburban development patterns fall disproportionately on the elderly. As such, the rapidly aging population shifts facing many cities will soon be at the forefront of civic planning. "]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"Between 2010 and 2030 the population age 65 and older is expected to double. With less than 5 percent of households residing in intentional senior-care communities, these projections illustrate the changing identity of cities whose future will undoubtedly be affected by their ability to react to this aging citizenry. "]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"By promoting the ability to age in place, these communities can reinvent themselves by implementing Lifelong Village (LV) principles focused on the shifting priorities of aging baby boomers."]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"Between 2010 and 2020, boomers are projected to make over 200 million residential moves, many in search of the ability to age in place. With migrating boomers\u0027 preference for rural communities, small-town populations of 55-to-75-year-olds will grow from 8.6 million to 14.2 million. While retirement-related migration may begin long before retirement (e.g., empty nesters downsizing their home), the tendency to relocate near town centers offering lower costs of living, walkability, and reduced crime offers a unique opportunity to these rural communities."]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"Research has also indicated a direct correlation between civic engagement and successful aging. Seniors\u0027 ability to be involved within their community has a direct impact on how they perceive their ability to successfully age. As illustrated by a recent AARP survey, a community\u0027s ability to offer an engaged existence for seniors is directly related to their perceived quality of life. This relationship will be an important metric in attracting and retaining active elderly populations."]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"[image: Correlation Between Successful Aging and Community Engagement]"]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"In defining the priorities for elder-friendly communities, the Center for Home Care Policy \u0026 Research outlines four key domains: "]]],[3,"ul",[[[0,[],0,"addressing basic needs"]],[[0,[],0,"promoting social and civic engagement "]],[[0,[],0,"optimizing physical and mental health and well-being "]],[[0,[],0,"promoting maximum independence for frail and disabled"]]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"While several communities and organizations throughout the country address these issues individually, few have formally adopted a comprehensive strategy that embraces them collectively."]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"One of the greatest hurdles preventing the elderly from \u0022ushering in a renaissance of civic life in America,\u0022 as scholar Christopher Johnson advocates, \u0022is that the articulation of a new vision for later life, at least at the national level, is outpacing the construction of programs and institutions needed to realize the vision.\u0022 "]]],[1,"blockquote",[[0,[0],1,"\u0022...the articulation of a new vision for later life, at least at the national level, is outpacing the construction of programs and institutions needed to realize the vision.\u0022 "],[0,[],0,"Christopher Johnson"]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"While it is critical that the built environment accommodates these populations, evolving development models should adamantly prioritize the civic engagement of older adults. LVs are the response to this need."]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"The sustainability of existing rural communities is dependent on embracing strategies to attract and accommodate a growing senior market. With the rising value of walkable neighborhoods, small towns are uniquely positioned to explore a new development model that utilizes LV concepts to stimulate local socio-economic realities and elevate the quality of life for the communities they serve. Some communities have recently gone as far as having explored overlay zoning plans (e.g., \u0022lifetime community districts\u0022) that create incentives for intergenerational development."]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"While the provision of supportive care and wellness-based services are paramount, the structures of successful LVs are designed to be measured by their ability to influence four key indicators:"]]],[3,"ul",[[[0,[1],1,"Diverse Housing Options"],[0,[],0,": Various innovative senior housing models have been realized in the last several years, creating diverse housing options within existing communities. \u2028"]],[[0,[1],1,"Increased Commerce"],[0,[],0,": At its most basic level, LVs\u2019 ability to attract seniors introduces an increased tax base and elevated purchasing power to small towns. In doing so, intergenerational relationships can be built through mechanisms such a voucher programs to encourage seniors to support locally owned businesses (movies, pharmacy, etc.). \u2028"]],[[0,[1],1,"Accessible Workplace"],[0,[],0,": With much of U.S. labor force growth being produced by those age 55 and older, it is crucial that seniors remain vital members of the local workforce. "]],[[0,[1],1,"Volunteerism"],[0,[],0,": Increased senior populations bring a larger volunteer base. Research has indicated that seniors\u0027 willingness to donate their time and money is directly related to their level of attachment to the local community. "]]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"Communities must start to explore how these components can be interconnected. As well, there should be an understanding that real progress surrounding these issues will come when planners, political leaders, and the general public realize that communities are fundamentally more sustainable when generations work together."]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"The establishment of LVs as a new urban model presents a civic planning concept that nimbly reacts to the urgent issues surrounding our rapidly aging population. Further advancement regarding LVs could formalize social service networks as ordering systems for traditional neighborhood redevelopment. In an attempt to attract migrating older adults, these concepts allow struggling rural communities to leverage an increased appreciation for pedestrian-oriented neighborhoods in response to an urgent phenomenon. "]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"The goal of LVs is grounded in the acceptance of seniors as a catalyst for urban renewal, utilizing older adults as a key instrument in creating and sustaining intergenerational communities within underutilized small towns across the country."]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"Visit MKM architecture + design for the "],[0,[2],1,"complete white paper"],[0,[],0,"."]]],[1,"h3",[[0,[],0,"About the Author"]]],[1,"p",[[0,[0],1,"Zachary Benedict, AIA, is a partner at MKM architecture + design, an architecture and planning firm dedicated to enhancing community health and well-being through design. With an extensive background in urban sociology and neighborhood revitalization, he has focused his work on the future of the American Midwest and the socio-economic benefits of intergenerational communities. He has lectured nationally on various topics, discussions with a primary focus of encouraging communities to re-evaluate the importance of quality public space."]]]]}
Read about the key issues that will affect a community’s ability to attract and hold senior citizens who wish to age in place.
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