Walkable Neighborhoods Important for Retiring Baby Boomers

| 3/15/2013 10:13:13 AM

Tags: walkable neighborhoods, walkability, transportation alternatives, baby boomers, Walk Score,

This article was reposted with permission from Walk Score.

Baby boomers are retiring in droves in an unprecedented American demographic shift. The last Baby Boomer turns 65 in 2030, so we still have two decades of an aging chunk of the public. A growing body of research points to the importance of designing or retrofitting communities for walkability to accommodate senior citizens and allow them to maintain a healthy, active lifestyle upon retirement. Walkable neighborhoods help seniors remain active, healthy, social and free to move around. How? 

1. Quality of Life While Aging in Place Seniors-Walking 

Many retirees choose to age in place — to avoid moving and remain in their homes as long as possible. But since baby boomers were the generation that built suburbia, many will want to maintain a quality of life in unwalkable neighborhoods.

Older adults socialize more when living in walkable neighborhoods. According to the EPA, in an age-friendly walkable neighborhood or town, regular social interaction is possible, convenient and more frequent. The American Journal of Public Health published a study that reveals older people living in walkable, mixed-use neighborhoods have higher levels of social interaction compared with those residing in car-dependent burbs. Living in walkable neighborhoods means you are more likely to know your neighbors, participate in politics, engage socially and even trust people. 

2. Transportation + Mobility to Leave the House 

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