Over 200 community leaders, nonprofit organizations and government staff filled the room at the Town & Country Conference Center on November 8 to learn more about age friendly communities at the Developing a Dynamic Community for the 21st Century sessions.
Hosted by The San Diego Foundation as part of the San Diego County Live Well Advance Conference, Living Well Across the Ages, the sessions featured nationally-renowned public health, planning, and transportation expert, Mark Fenton.
During his two presentations, Mark engaged the audience in a discussion and solution-finding exercises that highlighted the intersections of smart urban design, increased public health and vibrant local economies.
Mark opened the conversation by asking participants to think about what they loved about the community they grew-up in. What made that community unique and special?
Then he asked everyone to think about the type of community in which they wished to grow old. The responses highlighted the parallels between the ideal communities for each person, as well as the challenges that exist in making all communities fully age friendly.
During the sessions, participants worked together to identify individual and collective actions that could move all regions in San Diego closer to more livable communities.
Several participants showed their commitment by signing-up to be members of the San Diego County’s Regional Age Friendly Communities Task Force, dedicating their time, experience and expertise to help craft the County’s Age Friendly Communities Municipal Action Plan.
The energy and engagement in the room underscored the momentum behind building a more age friendly San Diego.
Philanthropy in Action
The San Diego Foundation Age Friendly Communities Program is aimed at increasing opportunities for all San Diegans to successfully age in their communities. Age Friendly Communities are those where older adults can experience greater independence, are well supported, and are inspired to remain active and are included in community decision-making.
Since 2015, the Age Friendly Communities Program has partnered closely with AARP and the County of San Diego to facilitate the adoption of the Age Friendly Communities Initiative by local municipalities.
In addition, last year the City of Chula Vista became the first city in the County to be initiated into the World Health Organization’s global network of Age Friendly Cities, just the second city in all of Southern California.
The San Diego Foundation believes that the Age Friendly Communities Program and our regional partners can lead the efforts in driving the adoption of age-friendly communities by more municipalities within our County and set the tone for more adoptions throughout the greater Southern California region.
Will you help make San Diego a more livable place for older adults? Let us know how in the comments below!