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n4a offers research, training and ongoing collaboration that facilitate initiatives to make communities across the nation good places in which to grow up and grow old.

Livable Communities

A Livable Community is one that has affordable and appropriate housing; adequate transportation and mobility options; accessible health and human services; and workforce, volunteer and community engagement opportunities that enable citizens to thrive across their lifespan. These amenities help to maximize individual independence and quality of life while enhancing the economic, civic and social vitality of the community. Local governments and community leaders across the nation are adopting the paradigm of livability across the lifespan as a framework for fostering creative opportunities that respond to the changing demographics of their cities, towns and counties. By 2030, more than 70 million Americans—twice the number in 2000—will be 65 and older, and nearly 90 percent of older adults wish to age-in-place in their existing homes or communities. These solutions ensure that communities are great places to grow up and grow old.

What We Have Done
n4a is a national leader in helping communities understand what is needed to prepare for the aging population. We provide coalition training, keynote speakers, focus groups and workshop development to assist in this process. In partnership with Partners for Livable Communities, n4a:

  • Led an Aging in Place Initiative funded by MetLife Foundation
  • Hosted a series of workshops to foster the development of livable communities
  • Awarded JumpStart grants
  • Published a number of valuable resources including those listed at the left.

What We Are Doing Now
n4a has selected six communities to participate in a MetLife-funded Livable Communities Collaborative. This initiative convenes local partnerships involving the Area Agency on Aging, government representatives and community groups, to identify and address ways to ensure that their communities meet the needs of citizens across their lifespan. The Livable Communities Collaborative is working with the Aging’s Network Volunteer Collaborative to help participating communities develop the social capital of older adults, by training and engaging them in Self-Directed Volunteer (SDV) Teams—a multi-skilled group that shares responsibility for addressing a challenge or opportunity ( These volunteer teams will form a critical part of planning and advancing the livable communities agenda.

The six communities are: Larimer County, CO; Miami Gardens, FL; Monroe County (Rochester area), NY; Santa Fe, NM; Sedgwick County (Wichita), KS; and York, PA.


Stephanie Firestone, Director