Mayors Say Creating Age Friendly Cities is a Top Priority

Washington, DC – In a new report, a large majority of mayors across the country say that prioritizing issues facing older Americans is a top priority for cities. The USCM/AARP Report on Aging in America which surveyed 108 mayors, details the top six priority issue areas that mayors identify as facing older Americans in cities across the country– health and wellness, housing, transportation and infrastructure, neighborhood and public safety, social activities, and workforce.

The report highlights how mayors are taking action to address aging issues by creating task forces and initiatives, as 92 percent of the Mayors who responded answered that aging issues are of high importance and 6 in 10 Mayors currently have an established, aging-related task force or initiative in their city. In addition, of those Mayors who have not established an initiative, 49% say it is a high priority to do so.

There are more than 46 million people ages 65 and older in the U.S. today and that number is projected to more than double by 2050. According to U.S. Census projections, all 50 states will see an increase in the percentage of their 65-plus populations by that same date. Cities are responding to the needs of their aging population by building communities that are livable for residents of all ages. This is an important issue for the nation’s mayors and their cities, and they are taking action.

“We have just received a clear message from leaders across the political spectrum and from all parts of the country:
improving their cities for an aging population is a high priority, and many are taking action by focusing on issues that, in the end, will benefit citizens of all ages,” said AARP Executive Vice President Nancy LeaMond. “We applaud and congratulate the nation’s mayors and the United States Conference of Mayors for helping people of all ages live, work, and play in comfort in the communities of their choice.”

Our cities’ aging isn’t just driven by one group of people growing older; it’s also driven by people’s belief that they as they grow older they deserve to be able to stay in the places where they’ve lived their lives. As evidence, AARP research consistently shows that roughly eight in ten people over the age of 45 and nine in ten age 65 and older want to remain in their homes and communities as they age.

“We are very proud of our collaboration with AARP on this important report. This report highlights the important work that mayors and municipal leaders are doing nationwide to improve their cities and communities so they are great places for all of their residents – particularly older adults. The nation’s cities will continue to be the engines driving the country’s economic and social growth. And, a key piece of that is harnessing the value of their older population,” remarked Conference CEO & Executive Director Tom Cochran.

“It is critical for cities to make it easier for people to remain in their neighborhoods and communities as long as they want. As this report demonstrates mayors and city leadership are actively and strategically developing their cities to support all of their citizens, including the nation’s rapidly growing population of older adults,” stated Mayor Frank Ortis, Mayor of Pembroke Pines (FL) and Chair of the USCM Taskforce on Aging.

By | 2017-02-04T21:47:29+00:00 January 17, 2017|85th Winter Meeting, Aging|

About the Author:

David is the Director of Technology and Innovation at the Conference where he directs the organization's programs and policy in the area of technology, innovation, science, and smart cities.