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Active Living For All Ages: Creating Neighborhoods Around Transit

Streetfilms teamed up with the Public Policy Institute at AARP to bring you a look at how Arlington, Virginia plans for its senior population using transit-oriented development (TOD).  Arlington has been practicing TOD since the late 1970s, when Washington's Metrorail first began service there, and it's proved very effective in accommodating the population growth of this inner suburb.

TOD helps older adults maintain their independence by providing good pedestrian access to a variety of public transit options, entertainment and recreation, and basic services such as shopping and health care.  As Rodney Harrell, senior strategic policy advisor at AARP's Public Policy Institute points out, "When you plan for older adults, you plan for the entire community."

Learn more about the Public Policy Institute's Livable Communities initiatives.

Robin Urban Smith is a multimedia storyteller who prefers to go by bike.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Hart-Noecker/100001623066825 Hart Noecker

    Transit oriented development isn't just about building new buildings, it's about the development of positive social interaction and the development of healthy, fulfilling lives.

  • Ben from Bed Stuy

    Great film. My parents are in their late sixties, and they are hoping to move to a smaller place, perhaps an apartment, closer to downtown Nyack so they don't have to drive so much. It's a combination of eco-awareness and convenience. I think many aging baby boomers, just retired and very healthy and "young" as far as retired folks go, will be driving up demand for senior-friendly housing in walkable, transit rich areas.
    This film didn't even touch on bicycles, but for a brief shot of the bike share station. Maybe we could see a follow-up film about seniors and bike share. Or "getting back on the bike" about riding again in the golden years.

  • http://www.streetfilms.org Clarence Eckerson Jr.

    The people in this film seem to be happier in their environment being able to do things independently.  That's what I want to still be able to do as I grow older!

  • Karen

    I'm impressed with the greater opportunities seniors have for independent living and social and civic engagement through TOD.  One woman comments that she would be less likely to work or volunteer without the transit options. 

  • Robbiesmith221

    After working in Arlington fro three years as a senior, I was very impressed by the integration of the Metro, frequent bus transporation, very user-friendly walking areas accessing public spaces and streets. Arlington is a terririfc model for how residential single family homes and apartments can be in close and accessible harmony with the "downtown" business district. The planning was terrific and I loved walking around. I always felt safe and not harried. Arlington is very senior friendly town.

  • Anonymous

    there is a proposal being held up now that would be a transportation hub in Collegetown Ithaca, NY (Cornell University) in which the people would get a new bus stop built into the commercial space (a cooperative market!!) housing for just over 100 people, a pedestrian arcade/walkway heading to/from the road behind the business in this mid-block structure.  Whereas students, visitors, staff, residents would have access to a full service grocery store (in a dense urban area that does not have a full grocery) and a much more appropriate bus stop, the project is being held up because of one thing: Minimum Parking Requirements.
    On a 60' wide lot, the zoning says 'the applicant' needs to construct 57 spaces. 57 subterranean urban parking spaces! That's likely to be at least $30,000! For each and every space! The space, the finances, the environmental burden promoting driving: it won't happen!
    More info on the project here: 
    Collegetown Crossing: Car Free Living https://www.facebook.com/groups/170393119731111/?ref=ts