AARP Age-Friendly Community

The City of Lansing joined the AARP Network of Age-Friendly Communities in the summer of 2015 and spent 2016 holding community conversations to discuss the initiative and to get feedback from residents. As part of the network, Lansing joins over 100 communities across the country, including seven other capital cities. 

The United States is experiencing a dramatic demographic change that will result in its communities needing to support twice as many people than currently who are over the age of 65. What will that mean for housing, transportation, health care, social services, work force and economic development? Simultaneously, these issues need to be addressed. It needs to be ensured that communities in the Lansing Area continue to be a place where people of all ages want to live, work and play. 

What is an age-friendly community?

An age-friendly community is an inclusive and accessible environment that promotes active aging.  It emphasizes enablement rather than disablement and is not just age-friendly, but friendly for all ages.  It responds to both the opportunities and the challenges of an aging population by creating physical and social environments that support independent and active living.  As a result, older residents are enabled to continue contributing to all aspects of their community life. 

Why does the City of Lansing need to be age-friendly?

Lansing is aging, with the City’s greatest increase in population coming from the ages of 55 to 64. Older adults are assets to Lansing's community, spending a high percentage of their income locally by voting, starting businesses and volunteering. If the City fails to address the demographic shift, Lansing will not be as vibrant of a place as it has the potential to be.

How does the program work?

The Age-Friendly Community program, an affiliate of the World Health Organization (WHO) Age-Friendly Cities and Communities program, helps develop plans for the infrastructure and support systems necessary to enable people to stay in their communities as they age. The program emphasizes both the built and social environment, as well as features such as safe, walk-able streets; better housing and transportation options; access to key services; and opportunities for residents to participate in community activities.
Age-Friendly Lansing

The AARP Network of Age-Friendly Communities website also has more information. To stay informed, sign-up to receive the AARP Livable Communities e-Newsletter every Wednesday.