COMMUNITY

Changing demographics has caused policy makers and planners to rethink urban development and design. Some cities are taking the initiative to adapt their infrastructure to accommodate the needs of their older citizens. Studies find that boomers are no different than millennials in terms of what makes an attractive community. We all want good walkability, easy transit, affordable housing, and mixed-use spaces.

As we advance in age, we may be looking for or needing more than a well-planned city. Right now the trend for housing seems to have moved in the direction of assisted living, over 55, and other retirement communities. But that’s not the way some of us want or can afford to live. In order to be independent, housing for older people needs to change, and affordability is just one factor. Availability is another. Alternate models of housing can include cohousing and shared housing, which would increase availability and decrease isolation. And for some of us who are of a generation that venerated individualism, even a community in the traditional sense may be too conventional.

 

This space explores new paradigms for aging communities—for municipalities as well as individuals. It will examine our relationship to the larger community and how we interconnect.