Anchorage Age-Friendly team talks community livability at block party
September 1, 2023 | View PDF
The AARP Alaska Anchorage Age-Friendly team hosted a booth at the 2023 Annual Fairview Block Party July 22 and enjoyed the opportunity to collect feedback about making Anchorage and Fairview more Age-Friendly. The event was lively, fun-filled and featured live music, good summer weather along with several other community service organizations, AARP partners and many engaging community members.
The AARP booth centered around what it means to be an Age-Friendly community, shown by the “8 Domains of Livability”. The Domains are Outdoor Spaces and Buildings, Transportation, Housing, Social Participation, Respect and Social Inclusion, Work and Civic Engagement, Communication and Information, and Community and Health Services. The quality and availability of these features is what makes a community a good place to live for seniors and all residents. Our booth featured graphic posters explaining each of the domains and flyers with more detailed explanations.
The Anchorage Age-Friendly team is currently gathering input from community members by asking the question, “What can be done to improve these elements in our community?” During the block party, we talked to about 100 adults and children who stopped at our booth. With a little conversation, we were happy to find people had a lot to share.
One way we collected feedback was by asking people to write or draw their thoughts on cutouts representing each of the 8 Domains of Livability. Once we explained the concept there was a clear winner for children 12 and under. Their favorite domain was Outdoor Spaces and Buildings and the major change they want to see is to have “more trash picker-uppers.” The idea was probably driven in part by the number of block party organizer/volunteers who were walking around picking up trash throughout the event, but what is important is that kids noticed how this simple action can make a difference in their neighborhood.
It is more difficult to determine one clear favorite from the adult suggestions for improvement, but several people talked about the need for more affordable housing and others were passionate about the need for more public transportation options within the Fairview neighborhood. Overall, the block party was incredibly fun and a terrific opportunity to engage with many different people and share ideas about improvements that can make Anchorage more Age-Friendly.
If you are interested in joining the effort to make Anchorage more age-friendly, please contact Patrick Curtis at firstname.lastname@example.org.