AARP and Congress for the New Urbanism Release ‘A Handbook for Improved Neighborhoods’

May 19, 2021

A new toolkit developed by  AARP Livable Communities and the Congress for the New Urbanism called  Enabling Better Places: A Handbook for Improved Neighborhoods provides options for communities to consider as they identify and select small-scale, incremental policy changes that can be made without overhauling entire zoning codes and land use policies.

This toolkit could be especially useful in the relatively new context of the Housing Choice Law, which reduced the number of votes required to enact certain kinds of zoning ordinances and bylaws from a ⅔ supermajority to a simple majority, among other changes.

The resource is intended for age- and dementia friendly community coalitions that may consist of involved residents, elected officials, local-government staff and members of policymaking and advisory committees. The publication provides an introduction to how a town, city or county can adapt its zoning code — and in doing so become a more livable community for people of all ages, incomes and backgrounds.

Also helpful among the lists of policy and physical environmental change suggestions is a glossary of “livable lingo” that can empower age-and dementia friendly coalitions to get more involved.