Livable Communities

People live and age in communities. The dramatic rise in the number of older Americans over the next three decades will have a direct and dramatic impact of every community in the nation. By 2030, people 65+ will comprise almost 20 percent of the nation’s population but in many communities that percentage is already a reality. The increase in the number of aging citizens will affect the social, physical and economic fabric of our nation’s cities and counties, affecting local policies, programs and services in the areas of aging, health and human services, land-use planning, housing, transportation, public safety, workforce and economic development, as well as lifelong learning, volunteerism and civic engagement.

Communities must not only adapt to the rapid growth of their older adult population, but also to the extended longevity this population will enjoy. All sectors of the community—city planners, businesses, faith-based organizations, economic development corporations, neighborhood and other civic organizations, education systems and community centers—must integrate the needs and contributions of people throughout their lifespan into their work as a matter of course, not as an afterthought.

For over a decade, USAging and Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs) have been leaders promoting planning for Livable Communities for All Ages—communities that are good places to grow up and good places to grow old. Over this time period, we have conducted community aging readiness surveys, worked one-on-one with community stakeholders to develop and implement livable community agendas, and developed how-to guides and a best practices clearinghouse of community strategies around livable communities issues. Over 70 percent of AAAs surveyed are in the process of developing Livable Communities initiatives, and USAging is providing guidance and technical assistance for this critical work.

USAging Resources Other Resources Related to WHO Age-Friendly Cities Program

USAging Fact: Learn about your peers’ work—and how it can fit into your agency’s goals! The AIA Awards recognizes successful and innovative programs that USAging members have developed to serve older adults. Get inspiration from our 2023 winners!