The age-friendly movement is about helping communities become great places for all ages by adopting features like safe, walkable streets, better transportation options and more opportunities to engage with one another. An overarching goal is to help people live easily and comfortably in their homes as they age. When our communities are more livable for older generations, they’re more livable for all generations.
In September 2015, thanks to work by SWPPA members and partners, Pittsburgh and Allegheny County joined the AARP Network of Age-Friendly Communities, kicking off a five-year planning, implementation and evaluation cycle. Our AARP network is part of the World Health Organization’s international initiative.
After a year of assessment and planning, we are bringing Age-Friendly Greater Pittsburgh to life, thanks to support by the Hillman Foundation. Work groups — comprised of local professionals and residents — have been formed based on the domains of livability:
Outdoor Spaces & Buildings
Social Participation and Respect & Inclusion
Civic Participation & Employment
Communication & Information
Community Support & Health Services
Members of these work groups were among the 200+ stakeholders we convened in 2016 for Age-Friendly Champions Meetings and Aging Your Way neighborhood gatherings.
The goal of Aging Your Way — based on Seattle’s model for participatory, asset-based action — was to create intergenerational dialogue and kick-start microlevel projects. Our partner Lively Pittsburgh led neighborhood meetings in eight urban and suburban settings: East Liberty, Penn Hills, Shaler, the Northside, the Southside, Downtown and Imperial. One project inspired by an Aging Your Way session is called Make It Work, aimed to help mature workers find meaningful, paid employment. Read Lively Pittsburgh’s 2017 Aging Your Way Initiative Report.
Additionally, we’ve engaged creative partners locally and nationally — including 2016 MacArthur Fellow Anne Basting, PhD — to help us define age inclusivity in a way that’s unique to our region. In late 2016, we co-produced The Crossings, a flash performance using creativity and humor to increase pedestrian safety and raise awareness among people of all ages. Future productions are in the works.
Interested in getting involved? Contact us at AgeFriendlyPGH@gmail.com.