Two Massachusetts communities won Gold-level National Planning Achievement Awards from the American Planning Association. Boston won for its “Climate Ready Boston Report,” and Stoneham won for its Transportation Advocacy Committee.
The Massachusetts Healthy Aging Collaborative highlights the Stoneham project for its similarities to what can be achieved through Age- and Dementia Friendly efforts, but mostly because it is a grassroots, citizen-led initiative that has attained results.
Many communities seeking to be Age-Friendly identify transportation as an area of concern, but also as an area that can be potentially costly and substantial to take on. Residents of Stoneham formed a group with no budget and no decision-making ability to speak of and was successful in expanding public transit service, improving vehicle parking signage, introducing maps for bicycle parking locations, and support Complete Streets initiatives all while creating a transparent, safe place for people to participate and work together on finding solutions for all rather than the few.
More info on Stoneham, Boston, and all award recipients – full of best practices for Age-Friendly stakeholders – is available here.