— Despite continued suburban sprawl, communities across the nation are taking steps to become better places to live in and age in, according to data analyzed from the newly updated AARP Livability Index. And Austin is being recognized among those cities, joining the Top 10 list for the first time among cities with a population of 500,000 or more. Across the U.S., more communities are enacting policies to improve livability with notable increases in housing trust funds that set aside revenue …

— By Tom Korosec On a chilly day late last October, Bob Bonilla and other AARP volunteers grabbed brooms and paintbrushes and went to work making their Fort Worth neighborhood more walkable and age-friendly. They painted curbs and crosswalks and created a “pop-up” traffic circle to slow vehicles and make their gentrifying neighborhood safer for pedestrians. “Earlier we did a walking tour to identify some of the problems,” said Bonilla, 67, a retired schoolteacher. They noted that residents of a nearby …

— As we age, our eyesight and reaction time steadily declines, and in a big city like Austin, the drivers that share the road tend to be less than friendly. Public transportation lessens the risk of vehicular accidents, alleviating the stress of being behind the wheel (especially during rush hour). Pat Thomas, an Austin resident and AARP member, started a group called Roll & Stroll in 2015 to help show others the convenience and practicality of public transportation, while touring new …

5 States

— The favorite holiday of our proud state falls on Friday, March 2. While a weekend trip to the San Antonio Southside Missions is a popular way to commemorate our state’s independence, as a Texan, you’re probably not too keen on following the herd. Here are three rebellious ways that you can embrace your Texan identity and keep community close to your heart. Explore the Multicultural Lone Star State Houston was listed in 2017 as the most culturally diverse city in …

— AARP Texas is helping residents of the Linwood neighborhood in Fort Worth revitalize their urban community. The Better Block project engages community members in a two- to three-month planning process, which culminates in a weeklong collaborative effort to improve a city block physically or economically. In Linwood, the project is bringing to fruition residents’ ideas for solar lighting, traffic calming and pedestrian crosswalks. The project demonstrates AARP’s commitment to livable, age-friendly communities in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. Built in the …

— By Thomas Korosec After Hurricane Ike struck Houston in September 2008, volunteers with the nonprofit Avenue CDC helped fix Angela Guerrero’s grandmother’s house. Now Guerrero is in a position to repay the favor by helping restore houses damaged by Hurricane Harvey in August. Guerrero, 31, is part of a small army of volunteers in nonprofit organizations who are helping to restore their communities in Harvey’s wake. Many are being helped by funds from AARP Foundation, which has invested $3.2 million …

— AARP Texas is teaming up with residents of the Linwood neighborhood of Fort Worth, the City of Fort Worth, and others to create a “Better Block” demonstration project. The Linwood Better Block initiative gets underway this week with a “Community Walk & Talk” that takes place from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 20, at the Linwood Park entrance, 362 Foch Street. The event is free and open to the public. Members of the news media are encouraged to …

— To promote age-friendly, livable communities, AARP Texas is hosting gardening classes across the state. AARP wants to create communities that promote healthy lifestyles and allow people to age in place. Such communities offer access to outdoor spaces; safe, accessible recreational facilities; and social participation for people of all ages. Daily activities such as gardening can lead to better health, especially for people who don’t enjoy athletic activities or going to the gym. On April 13, AARP members and their guests …

— As members of the AARP Network of Age-Friendly Communities, Austin and Fort Worth have developed strategic plans to prepare for the needs of an aging population. Although Austin has a youthful reputation, its share of people 55 and older is among the fastest growing in the nation. In November, the Austin City Council approved an age-friendly action plan, with implications for parks, recreational facilities, farmers markets, emergency responders, housing, public transportation, sidewalks and more. And after a series of public …