Serving the Needs of Seniors: Solutions in practice

Last month we talked about Connections, Community, and the Science of Loneliness, in which I lamented my parents’ generation lack of active communities geared toward people of all ages. Since then, I’ve looked a little more deeply into some of the newer neighborhoods designed around livability, to see which of them are offering especially graceful aging options.

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Connections, Community, and the Science of Loneliness

On my last trip to see my aging parents, I was struck again by the loneliness that comes from diminished connections. They are both inspiring people, and in their younger years were notably adept at making connections with and for others. And at helping people see the good in each other, in themselves, and in the communities they call home.

However, over time those connections are slowly dissolving. While there’s little to be done at this stage, this experience reaffirms the expediency of staying connected as long as we can to all the networks – internal and external – that make for wellness.

The process of saying “what if” does little good. However, I can’t help myself.

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The Data is In: Let the heavy lifting begin

The good news about making the redevelopment of American neighborhoods more responsive to 21st century American needs is that we seem to have a pretty good grasp on the problem:

We have a lot more isolated, supersized, energy-sucking housing than we want or can afford. And we have a lot less compact, close-in, energy-efficient neighborhoods than we need.

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Neighborhoods First (and Goal)

San Diego’s new Mayor, Bob Filner, was elected on a “Neighborhoods First” campaign, as it was apparent that downtown and a select group of out-of-town developers had the past administration’s undivided attention. Today, the older, hip, cool, streetcar neighborhoods are experiencing development pressure for new shops and housing.  A progressive democrat in a historically republican town, our Mayor has a clear mandate to transform our neighborhoods from their current fear-of-change state to real placemaking possibilities… in conformance with local community character, of course.

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Next Urbanism Lab 04: Dare to live outdoors

As we re-populate our downtowns, and watch the crime statistics drop, people are seeing safety in numbers. Jane Jacobs was right about eyes on the street reducing crime. With the sense that it’s indeed safe to be in cities again, it appears that citizens are re-learning how to be connected in an urban context. Downtown’s street cafes, shops and plazas, filled with activity, are proof that we’re succeeding in bringing people back downtown. Safely.

This wasn’t always so.

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