Project Overview

Why is this important?

Aging is changing California. Between now and 2045, SCAG anticipates minimal growth in the number of children and adolescents, modest increases in the number of middle-aged adults, but substantial increases in the senior population-especially those over 85. In June 2019, Governor Gavin Newsom issued an executive order calling for the creation of a Master Plan for Aging (Master Plan) ( Executive Order N-14-19 ). The Executive Order affirmed the priority of the health and well-being of older Californians and the need for policies that promote healthy aging (California Master Plan for Aging, 2019).

Complete and accessible active transportation infrastructure for older adults is important for three main reasons:

  • Fairness in public facility investments, especially with respect to equity needs and to provide network completeness

  • Remaining physically active contributes to the health and well-being of older adults as they age

  • Older adult’s quality of life is enhanced with sustained independence an social connections – both of which come in part from remaining physically active.

How does the project work?

We will learn how well (or not) older adult communities provide both pathways for walking, bicycling, using transit within their boundaries and access points to surrounding areas for shopping, socializing, and reaching parks and trails.

We will also learn how well the local governments in which the older adult communities are located provide safe and comfortable places for walking, bicycling using transit etc.

We are asking residents of older adult communities to provide information about their habits through a survey. The resident survey is intended to provide specific information on how residents travel within their community and between their community and the surrounding areas.

Additionally, we are talking with staff in each local government and managers or community leaders in each older adult community and reviewing plans and other materials.

What will this project provide?

Under this condition, the proposed study dedicated to enhancing the design of active transportation networks in the older adult communities is expected to benefit Californians in many ways:

  • An awareness for local government agencies to formulate efficient policies that can promote the adequate design of active transportation networks, which has enormous benefits related to the environment and public health.

  • A better evaluation of the governing development regulations of active transportation on both active and tiered living communities.

  • A way to inform project prioritization that promotes active transportation of older adults.