H5: Planning Healthy, Multigenerational Complete Communities: Perspectives from Delaware

APA Delaware Chapter


Wednesday, October 29, 2014
8:30 a.m. - 10 a.m. EDT

CM | 1.50

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Planners are struggling to manage the economic, health, social, environmental, safety and overall quality of life impacts of sprawl. While the United States is seeing the largest generation reach retirement age, we are also seeing an increase in obesity and chronic diseases The population is living longer, living with chronic health conditions, and outliving their driving years. This session will focus on healthy, livable communities that meet the needs of all residents regardless of age or ability level. Through the Delaware Healthy Eating and Active Living Coalition, an inter-professional collaboration of diverse stakeholders, and utilizing the ‘Complete Communities’ concept, Health Impact Assessment (HIA) and HIA methods and strategies, Delaware is working to meet common needs, interests and concerns across generations. Complete communities integrate safe, walkable streets, better housing, transportation options, access to key services and opportunities for residents to participate in community activities. Communities with these characteristics embody the principles of Universal Design by appealing to all residents regardless of age or ability level while supporting public health and economic well-being. They also meet the current needs of the state, and are sustainable for future generations. Complete Communities and Universal Design are inextricably connected and promote healthy sustainable communities. David Edgell, AICP, a principal planner for the State of Delaware, will moderate this session. Andrea Trabelsi, AICP, with years of experience as a planner in the non-profit sector, will review the role of public health in the early planning movement, how/why its influence has fluctuated, and why it’s important to achieving good planning and vibrant communities. She will discuss practical ways of bringing health back into planning; use DE HEAL as example of health as a common goal among stakeholders and the benefits of bringing those diverse stakeholders together; and Health Impact Assessment--its methods, practical considerations, and lessons learned from pilot recently completed in Delaware. Debra Young, occupational therapist specializing in environmental modifications, will examine planning for and with multigenerational awareness as way to achieve public health and broader community goals. She will discuss: common needs, interests and concerns across generations; space planning that promotes inclusive environments; methods to achieve access for all, such as Universal Design (UD) versus ADA/Accessible design; and role of design for health, participation, safety, and social benefits. Arshia Faghri, student, will provide insight into Generation Z’s perspective on the impact of the environment on health. Engaging this younger demographic helps plan for the future and supports multigenerational planning. Marcia Scott, Policy Scientist, will explain the broader importance of Complete Communities. This will include a discussion of barriers to aging in community and a range options that should be considered to support aging in community that include community design, public policy adjustments, and planning practices. Types/models of aging-friendly communities will be discussed (e.g., village model, cohousing, cottage communities, community partnerships, accessory dwelling units).