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Universal Design for Cities

by Louis on February 15, 2011

I sent the following letter to the Washington Post last week. I was hoping to be published so I could link to it from this column. I have not been contacted so I guess it will not be in the Post. I am making it available on this blog.

We have three significant transit oriented re-urbanizations going on in the Metro area, Tyson’s Corner, Rockville Pike and New Carrolton. The most significant demographic trend we face is the coming increase in older citizens. How we house and care for them is a critical dilemma. What are we doing to make these ‘age friendly’, ‘walk and roll’ communities that are welcome to all?
The planners, designers and developers who are granted this opportunity need to be charged with including Universal Design and livable community criteria. A community where those who cannot or do not care to drive can access the services and vitality that make place and make lives worth living also make it easier for kids to get around on skate boards and bikes. They don’t need to be driven everywhere. Everyone is out on the sidewalks and in the cafes. That strengthens neighborhoods and social connections. Cars are used less. The carbon footprint is reduced.
Smarter growth pays attention to older citizens because we really need to, because how we care for our older citizens is a measure of our civilization and because the corollary benefits are huge.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Patrick Roden February 23, 2011 at 5:32 pm

Louis, we are lucky living in the Pacific Northwest, city planners are designing for age-friendly cities. We are making the future a part of our current philosophy.
Age-friendly cities project

Age-Friendly Cities Methodology

City of Vancouver Age-Readiness Plan:

Best, Patrick


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