Planning Aging-Supportive Communities

PAS Report 579

By Bradley Winick, Martin Jaffe

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America is aging fast.

In 2010, 40.3 million people in the United States were age 65 or older, 12 times the number in 1900. The fastest-growing group of older adults is 85-plus, and the trend is likely to continue through 2050 and beyond.

How can communities rise to the challenge? Planning Aging-Supportive Communities is a guide to help planners and public officials meet the needs of older residents. Safe and affordable housing is one of the most basic needs. So is the ability to get around town, whether driving, walking, cycling, or taking transit. Public spaces, services, and health programs all must be addressed.

In clear, concrete terms, this new report shows how to use the resources already in place, and what features to add, to create communities that support full, fulfilling — and long — lives.


Executive Summary (pdf)

About the Authors

Bradley Winick, AICP, LEED, is an urban planner and architect. In 2012 he launched Planning/Aging, a consultancy that helps communities plan for their aging populations. At the University of Illinois at Chicago, he teaches a graduate course on planning communities for an aging population. He also serves on the board of the AgeOptions agency in suburban Cook County, Illinois.

Martin Jaffe, JD, directs graduate studies in urban planning and policy at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He also serves as a research fellow in UIC's Great Cities Institute and leads extension programs for the Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant College Program. Before joining UIC, he was the program manager for APA's research division.

Product Details

Page Count
Date Published
June 1, 2015
Adobe PDF
American Planning Association

Table of Contents

Executive Summary

Chapter 1
Planning Context
Aging Terminology
Aging: Key Concepts
Paradigm Shifts Affecting Aging in Community
Links with Other Publications, Programs, and Planning Movements
The Structure of this Report

Chapter 2
Housing Options to Support Aging in Community
Older-Adult Households and Housing
Planning for Older Adults and Housing
Recommendations for Housing and Aging in Community

Chapter 3
Mobility Options to Support Aging in Community
Older Motorists
Older Pedestrians
Older Transit Riders
Older Cyclists
Recommendations for Addressing Mobility and Aging in Community

Chapter 4
The Public Realm and Public Services to Support Aging in Community
Planning the Public Realm and Public Services for Aging Communities
Recommendations for the Public Realm and Public Services

Chapter 5
Planning Aging-Supportive Communities
Aging-Supportiveness Programs
Assessments, Indices, and Rankings
Key Lessons for Planning Aging-Supportiveness Programs
Recommendations for Planning and Implementing Aging-Supportiveness Programs

Chapter 6
Recommendations for Planning Aging-Supportive Communities
Next Steps

Appendix A
Additional Resources

Appendix B
Links to Program Websites