AARP Livable Communities Principles

Policymakers on the federal, state, and local levels have important roles in designing livable communities where residents of all ages can participate fully. The following principles set out AARP’s broad goals for land use, housing, and transportation that create livable and resilient communities that can endure over time. 

Secure affordability—all communities should provide transportation, housing, and other services and features that are affordable to people of all income levels. 

Secure equitable access—all people—regardless of factors such as income, ability level, and background— should have access to affordable transportation and housing. Everyone should also have a safe and healthy environment in which to live. 

Ensure quality and choice—individuals should have a range of high-quality options to meet their needs, including housing and transportation. 

Prioritize accessibility and the ability to age in place—people of all abilities and ages should be able to enjoy community services and features that meet their needs. They should be able to live in the setting of their choice and have increased access to destinations. 

Promote health, safety, and environmental sustainability—all communities should support the right of individuals from all incomes and backgrounds to live safe, secure, and healthy lives. Environmentally sustainable communities protect natural resources and create conditions, such as clean air and water, which improve health outcomes for residents over the long term. 

Achieve holistic policymaking—all communities should seek to improve the interconnectedness of issues such as health, wellness, safety, work, education, environment, and social engagement. Doing so enables residents across generations to live their best lives.