AFS Blog

Age-Friendly Sarasota, urban planners and the built and social environment

Posted on February 11, 2016 | by Kathy Black
Age-Friendly Sarasota, urban planners and the built and social environment

Age-Friendly communities are inclusive, accessible environments that promote active, healthy, and engaged living. This requires attention to both the Built and Social Environments.

The Built Environment refers to human-made spaces that allow for daily living within a community and includes such physical aspects of where we live and work as: neighborhoods, parks, buildings, architecture, pedestrian infrastructure and transportation system. The Social Environment refers to the social setting in which we live and involves many aspects of our daily lives including the full range of activities in which we participate and our knowledge, access, and experience of being respected and valued in our participation.

Urban planners represent one of the many professions necessary to help shape age-friendly built environments by taking into account the social environment, or ways in which we interact within our communities. The APA FL is the state chapter of the national American Planning Association whose members represents urban planners throughout our state.

The mission of APA FL is aligned with our Age-friendly work and they recently held a public policy workshop in Tallahassee in which Age-Friendly Sarasota was proud to participate. The event was attended by nearly 120 planners throughout the state and covered such topics as the state of the economy - though foreclosures are down, affordable housing remains a statewide issue across age groups) and among Florida’s demographics, 60% of people who move Florida are retirees and that trend is expected to continue. These trends highlight the importance of the built environment to support persons aging in their communities.

Age-Friendly Sarasota was pleased to present at the APA FL meeting and there was much interest in our efforts and accomplishments to date. We were particularly pleased to join forces with the County Comprehensive Plan Team and Master Parks Plan regarding the domains of outdoor spaces and public buildings and housing.

Age-Friendly Sarasota is also engaged with transportation as well. Though only eight months from our launch, Age-Friendly Sarasota is poised to share its findings with people, business, media, non-profits and government in the months ahead to enhance the co-creation of OUR collective age-friendly future. Stay tuned for ways to join the movement!


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