Roanoke downtown skyline at dusk. iStockPhoto.com/SeanPavane

It’s known as the Star City of the South, a gem nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains that has become a cultural, recreational and business hub of the region. And now, the historic city of Roanoke has earned another appealing distinction: designation as an AARP Age-Friendly Community.

The moniker is given to cities, towns and rural areas whose leaders have committed to develop or improve features that make a place more livable at any age, such as sidewalks, access to services and opportunities to engage in community activities.

Roanoke is the fifth Virginia city or county to join the AARP Network of Age-Friendly Communities, which is part of a World Health Organization effort to help communities prepare for an aging population. One in 4 Roanoke residents will be 65-plus in the next decade.

For more information, go to aarp.org/agefriendly.