American Planning Association’s 2023 Trend Report for Planners Includes Support for Age-and Dementia Friendly Community Efforts

Sep 20, 2023

The 2023 Trend Report for Planners from the American Planning Association includes “dementia and aging populations” as a highlighted issue.

The report states that, “Planning for aging in place and dementia are more important than ever…Housing policies need to support affordability for older adults, especially those with dementia; intergenerational homes; and communities of care.”

The report also cites a recent study that reviewed 23 research articles and found that interaction with natural environments and public spaces plays a crucial role in the well-being of people with dementia. “Thus,” says the report, “planners can help develop policies that can minimize disparities in dementia risk, namely equitable access to resources and environments that contribute to healthy cognitive function, such as aging-supportive communities, dementia-friendly communities, and communities that support intergenerational living.”

Overall, the report features more than 100 existing, emerging, and potential future trends that APA identified as relevant to planning. The trends are structured within three timeframes (Act Now, Prepare, Learn and Watch), which indicate the urgency of planners’ action. For each trend, the report gives insights on what the trend is about and explains why they are important for planners to know about and consider in their work. Additionally, the report describes “trend patterns,” which explore the bigger-picture developments rooted in the variety of trends observed and how they affect planning.

Older adults are also included in sections relative to intergenerational housing and assistive technology.

The full report can be accessed here.