Making cities age-friendly for baby boomers

Leaders take steps to help seniors stay active

NEW YORK - America's cities are beginning to grapple with a fact of life: People are getting old, fast, and they're doing it in communities designed for the sprightly.

Cities across America are starting to come to grips with the aging of their residents in areas that weren't really designed to accommodate older people.

For example, seniors soon will outnumber schoolchildren in hip, fast-paced New York City. Every day for the next few decades, thousands of baby boomers will turn 65.

It will take some creative steps to make cities age-friendly enough to help the coming crush of older adults stay active and independent.

With initiatives such as using otherwise idle school buses to take seniors grocery shopping, New York is being recognized by the World Health Organization as a leader in this movement.

There are others.

Atlanta is creating what it calls "lifelong communities." Philadelphia is testing whether living in a truly walkable community really makes older adults healthier.

In Portland, Ore., there's a push to fit senior concerns into the city's new planning and zoning policies

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Print this article Back to Top