By Christian Nisttáhuz
Earlier this month, Fort Worth officially joined AARP’s Network of Age-Friendly Communities. AARP volunteers and staff were on hand for the exciting announcement, presenting Mayor Betsy Price with an official welcome.
What’s most exciting about this is that is marks a local effort to make Fort Worth a more inclusive, accessible and livable city.
AARP is committed to working with Mayor Price to create an age-friendly Fort Worth for everyone to enjoy. Why is this important? By 2030, the number of Americans over age 65 is expected to double, causing a profound demographic change. Furthermore, an overwhelmingly 85 percent of adults over the age of 45 want to stay in their communities for as long as possible. The city of Fort Worth recognized this fact and the importance of creating a community where the aging population can stay connected and feel safe.
But it’s not just about older Americans. The same features that help people age in place also help make our city safer for everyone—from children to young adults to middle-aged folks.
“We hope to create great places for all ages by adopting such features as safe, walkable streets, better housing and transportation options, access to key services, and opportunities for residents to participate in community activities,” says Randle Harwood, with the City of Fort Worth’s planning department.
But it’s not just about what AARP or city officials want. It’s about listening to the residents of Fort Worth. Starting next year, AARP will host a series of town halls to get feedback on how to make the city more age-friendly. Stay tuned for dates and times.