Age-Friendly Anchorage: Moving forward in 2024
January 1, 2024 | View PDF
Since Anchorage became a member of AARP’s Network of Age-Friendly States and Communities in June 2021, AARP volunteers have been collecting feedback from Anchorage residents regarding what can be done to make Anchorage a more age-friendly place to live. Here is a reminder of what it means to be an Age-Friendly community: An Age-Friendly community should provide safe, walkable streets; age-friendly housing and transportation options; access to needed services; and opportunities for residents to participate in community life. Well-designed, age-friendly communities foster economic growth and make for happier, healthier residents of all ages.
The phase for collecting community feedback has just wrapped up. Thanks to all of you and the many others who have provided feedback. The Age-Friendly team now knows what residents want and need to thrive as they age. The collection of feedback included intergenerational voices, the interfaith community, cultural institutions, professional organizations, voices from the municipality and others who share an interest in making Anchorage the best place to live for all people.
Currently, the team is completing an assessment, which includes a description of community assets, demographic information, and the results of listening sessions and completed questionnaires. The results will be used to determine the specific actions needed to make Anchorage more age-friendly.
Of the approximately 300 comments and suggestions reviewed to date, the following observations and trends rose to the top. Thirty percent of the feedback received referenced Outdoor Spaces and Buildings. More specifically, many responses praised the options available in Anchorage. However, a need was expressed for increased accessibility in winter and additional outdoor opportunities that would appeal to people of all ages. Housing, Communication and Information, Community and Health Services and Transportation each received 12% of feedback. The remaining areas of Social Participation, Work and Civic Engagement, Respect and Social Inclusion received less than 8% of feedback.
Based on interpretation of the community data outlined above, an action plan will be created. Implementation of the goals outlined in the action plan, such as increased access to transportation or recreational opportunities, will require collaboration with community partners, the municipality and residents. Overall community involvement increases the likelihood that elements of the plan create key initiatives, such as housing strategies, transportation and transit master plans, urban guidelines, and street designs.
AARP Alaska will be looking for continued support and input as work continues in developing the Age-Friendly Anchorage Action Plan. If you are interested in working to make Anchorage a better place for all, please consider getting involved with the Age-Friendly Anchorage team. For more information, contact Patrick Curtis at 907-268-7919 or email@example.com.