• CHPR News

    June 2021

The population of Californians aged 55 years and older is rapidly growing and some 80% of these older adults want to remain independent in their own homes as they age. But California’s housing shortage and increasing rates of age-related chronic diseases and disabilities are barriers to achieving that goal. A new report published by the UC Davis Center for Healthcare Policy and Research (CHPR) describes how land-use planning and community design can help to prevent or mitigate many age-related barriers to independent living for older residents, including those who are intellectually or developmentally disabled.

Planning Healthy Aging Communities was created to inform and inspire developers, planners, home builders and other key stakeholders responsible for creating communities that can support healthy aging. It comprises a review of the community design features known to support improved health outcomes in older adults, 35 examples of already existing and planned healthy aging communities to serve as models, and information about guidelines and toolkits (from AARP, the Urban Land Institute and others) that are available to help planners design the innovative healthy aging communities of the future. Results of interviews with content experts about how land-use planning and design can foster healthy aging for all, a review of the role digital technology can play in healthy aging, and opportunities for community partnerships to support the planning and development of these communities are also included. The authors summarize their findings and provide specific planning recommendations for developers, planners, and policymakers in the final chapter.

Joy Melnikow, M.D., M.P.H., Dominique Ritley, M.P.H., Marykate Miller, M.S., Sabrina Loureiro, Neal Kohatsu, M.D., M.P.H., and Desiree Backman, Ph.D., from CHPR; David Lindeman, Ph.D., Liona Li, and Isabelle Osorio from the UC Berkeley Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society; and Corey Owens, M.S., from the UC Davis Center for Health and Technology are the authors of Planning Healthy Aging Communities. Bear River Land Holdings LLC funded the project.

Full report details can be found here.