So Much Good - Walkability for Older Adults

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Certification Maintenance

CM | 0.75

Learning Outcomes

  • View a student project from the San Diego Age-Friendly Film Festival that highlights the importance of walking and providing older adults with safe places to walk and roll.
  • Learn about the PEP4PA program, led by UC San Diego, which was designed as a multilevel intervention to increase physical activity among low-income and ethnically diverse older adults.
  • Learn how older adults are helping to improve the walking and rolling environment through grassroots environmental change projects and policy initiatives in several San Diego County communities.

More Course Details

Older adult pedestrians rely on access to safe, comfortable walking routes. Programs in San Diego, many of them hosted outdoors, gather older adults to walk and socialize. However, the built environment is not always created or maintained with older adults in mind. Participants in the PEP4PA walking program helped identify where changes were needed to create safer and more enjoyable walking and rolling experiences. Environmental-change projects may include extended crossing times, mid-block crossings, or sidewalk rest areas. Consultants assisted temporary and permanent projects that respond to the needs of older adults.

Presenters share examples and explain how they worked with walking-group participants to select a project and taught residents to work with a jurisdiction to create equitable, age-friendly changes in the built environment. Although active-transportation planning helps create walkable and more livable communities, we seldom think about their life-changing impacts. Walkable roadways, neighborhoods, and communities offer older adults independence, social inclusion, and improved physical and mental health.

TCC's model for community participation in infrastructure development and anti-displacement planning avoids and mitigates negative impacts of infrastructure investments. It supports resident awareness, empowers local decision making, and advances long-term solutions that stabilize neighborhoods.