As Baby Boomers age, how are cities preparing for them?

Jun 25, 2014

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As we watch Baby Boomers swell the ranks of America’s senior citizens, how are cities and towns preparing for them?

How will Boomers reshape cities and what can cities do to look ahead and plan for what seniors will need?

Bradley Winick is the founder of the Planning/Aging consulting firm and adjunct professor of urban planning at the University of Illinois in Chicago.

Winick said that while many of the issues that Baby Boomers are facing are the same as issues for previous seniors, one major difference is economic circumstance.

For Baby Boomers, the recession challenged the assumption of flexibility.

“I think a lot of folks felt that they had this fabulous financial nest egg, which was largely in their home,” Winick said.

However, when the economy changes and the lending climate changes, your home is only worth how much someone is willing to pay you for it.

“I think the impact of that manifests itself in a number of ways in respects to how our communities will look in the future,” Winick said.

Winick added that when a city is planning for an older population, it’s important to make sure the city makes the community livable for all ages but also takes a close look at the availability and accessibility of pharmacies, grocery stores and transportation.

*Listen to full interview above.