June 5th & 6th, 2008
To bring together in discussion national and regional experts and interested parties in the area of elder-friendly community design and provide direction for future assessment, analysis and planning of Iowa’s rural communities.
With an aging baby-boomer population communities are beginning to recognize a need to accommodate and attract older residents. The physical, social and political environment of communities is a significant factor in the development of comfortable, safe and accessible environments that promote physical activity and healthy lifestyles. The quality of life of older adults is central to the purpose for developing elder-friendly communities (EFC). Iowa communities are beginning to recognize a need to retain and become magnets for aging residents, the “baby-boomer” population. For community planners, developers, elected officials, citizens and advocates, the concept of EFC development will become an important facet in directing community action in the coming decades. Satisfying the needs of the aging baby-boomer population will allow for the economic and social stability and growth of rural towns and the retention of residents who may otherwise flee to more accommodating environments.
Welcome: Mark Engelbrecht, Dean, College of Design, Iowa State University
Opening Remarks and Introductions: Timothy O. Borich, Program Director, Extension to Communities
and Economic Development
"Town/Craft: Iowa’s Changing Demographics", Timothy O. Borich, Program Director, Extension to Communities and Economic Development
PLaCE Program Coordinator, "Small Town Iowa: Some Questions and Conclusions", Peter Butler, Senior Lecturer, Department of Landscape Architecture & Susan Erickson, PLaCE Program Coordinator, Extension to Communities
Robert H. McNulty, Founder and President, Partners for Livable Communities
For more than 30 years, Robert McNulty has thrown his skills and energies into civic invention, arts and creativity, and agendas of social inclusion to benefit the communities of America and abroad. A coalition builder par excellence, he formed Partners for Livable Places — now Partners for Livable Communities — in 1975, the first organiza¬tion of its type in American history. Partners is a national, leadership nonprofit working to improve the livability of communities by promoting quality of life, economic development, and social equity.
Partners for Livable Communities, Robert H. McNulty
Chanam Lee, Assistant Professor, Department of Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning, College of Architec¬ture, Texas A&M University
Professor Lee has engaged the issues of community design on multiple levels. Her research involves the design and planning of the physical environment promoting activity-friendly communities and investigating land use and development policies. As a collaborator at a regional scale, Professor Lee worked with a coalition in Brazos Valley, Texas to create Brazos Valley Building Healthy Communities Coalition that seeks to link smart growth and active aging principles in rural and urban environments. This project won a Commitment Award in the area of Building Healthy Communities for Active Aging from the EPA in 2007.
"Healthy and Active Living Communities", Chanam Lee, Ph.D., Department of Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning, College of Architecture, Texas A&M University
Linda Cronk, Michigan State University Extension, Communities for a Lifetime
Dona Wishart, Director of Otsego (MI) County Commission on Aging
Linda Cronk and Dona Wishart have worked at a grassroots level in rural Michigan in the development of a model Elder-Friendly Community program for the state. The program, Michigan Community for a Lifetime, provides as¬sessment tools and strategic planning frameworks for communities that are seeking to gain recognition as facili¬tating a positive, enriching active aging process for their citizens. Cronk and Wishart have continued to work in creating partnerships with state and national partners in the development of their program.
"A Grassroots Effort...to become a Michigan Community for a Lifetime", Linda Cronk & Dona Wishart, Gaylord Michigan
AARP Community Projects
- "Livable Communities: Creating Environments For Successful Aging", Rebecca Groff AARP Iowa, Associate State Director for Community Outreach
Elder Friendly Community Reports