AARP International

 

Equity by Design

How do we make our built environment, at every scale, a tool for disease prevention and the promotion of wellness for all?

As we begin to build and renovate our homes and communities in a post-COVID-19 world, we must radically accelerate the application of an age-friendly framework that addresses disparities. This means housing and communities that are safe, affordable, and facilitate multigenerational interaction; meet sensory, emotional, physical, social, behavioral, and health needs across the lifespan; and include appropriate transportation options—enabling every resident to thrive.

 

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AARP’s Equity by Design global dialogue series highlighted critical lessons and opportunities as we emerge from a tragic pandemic, to catalyze action among professionals in the fields that shape the physical housing and communities where we live. 

Based on an age-friendly framework that tackles disparities, these solutions-oriented dialogues with built environment professionals from around the world, have lifted up key insights and created a base of resources that will continue to grow. Please check back here in spring 2021 for spotlights on innovations and innovators moving the needle in this space. 

Contact us to nominate projects you think we should feature, as well as professional documents we should add to our resource base.

Watch Past Dialogues

Virtual Dialogue 6: Include Age-Friendliness in Other Priorities and Lead Cross-Sector Collaboration
February 25, 2021
Featured Speakers:

  • Dr. Jennifer Molinsky, Senior Research Associate, Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies
  • Gaetan Siew, Founder of the Global Creative Leadership Initiative; Past President of the International Union of Architects; Past Secretary-General of the African Union of Architects
  • Naomi Hoogervorst, Senior Programme Manager at UN-Habitat
  • Dr. Bill Thomas, Lifesprk Independence Officer; Cofounder, ChangingAging (Moderator)
  • Stephanie Firestone, Senior Strategic Policy Advisor, Health & Age-friendly Communities, AARP (Host) 
  • Esther Greenhouse, Built Environment Strategist and Environmental Gerontologist; and Strategic Director, TC Age Friendly Center for Excellence (Introductory Remarks) 
 

Virtual Dialogue 5: Facilitate Intergenerational Engagement
January 14, 2021

Featured Speakers:

  • Donna Butts,  Executive Director, Generations United
  • Dr. Emi Kiyota, Founder and Director, Ibasho
  • Dr. Bill Thomas, Lifesprk Independence Officer; Cofounder, ChangingAging (Moderator)
  • Stephanie Firestone, Senior Strategic Policy Advisor, Health & Age-friendly Communities, AARP (Host) 
  • Esther Greenhouse, Built Environment Strategist and Environmental Gerontologist; and Strategic Director, TC Age Friendly Center for Excellence (Introductory Remarks) 
 

Virtual Dialogue 4: Prioritize Connectivity
December 17, 2020

Featured Speakers:

  • Dr. Joseph Coughlin, Founder and Director, Massachusetts Institute of Technology AgeLab; Member, AARP Board of Directors
  • Justin Garrett Moore,  Program Officer, Mellon Foundation
  • Dr. Victor Santiago Pineda, President of World Enabled; Lecturer, College of Environmental Design, University of California Berkeley
  • Dr. Bill Thomas, Lifesprk Independence Officer; Cofounder, ChangingAging (Moderator)
  • Stephanie Firestone, Senior Strategic Policy Advisor, Health & Age-friendly Communities, AARP (Host) 
  • Esther Greenhouse, Built Environment Strategist and Environmental Gerontologist; and Strategic Director, TC Age Friendly Center for Excellence (Introductory Remarks) 
 

Virtual Dialogue 3: Create Appropriate Finance Products
November 19, 2020

Featured Speakers:

  • Jennifer Ho, Commissioner, Minnesota Housing
  • Feras Qumseya, Vice President of Development, Foulger-Pratt 
  • Dr. Raquel Rolnik,  Professor, Faculty of Architecture and Urbanism, University of São Paulo 
  • Dr. Bill Thomas, Lifesprk Independence Officer; Cofounder, ChangingAging (Moderator)
  • Stephanie Firestone, Senior Strategic Policy Advisor, Health & Age-friendly Communities, AARP (Host) 
  • Esther Greenhouse, Built Environment Strategist and Environmental Gerontologist; and Strategic Director, TC Age Friendly Center for Excellence (Introductory Remarks) 
 

Virtual Dialogue 2: Alleviate Disparities
October 22, 2020

Featured Speakers:

  • Dr. Antwi Akom, Professor and Founding Director of the Social Innovation and Urban Opportunity Lab (SOUL), University of California San Francisco, CEO and Cofounder, Streetwyze
  • Stacey Epperson, President and Founder, Next Step
  • Paul Williams, President and CEO of Project for Pride in Living
  • Dr. Bill Thomas, Lifesprk Independence Officer; Cofounder, ChangingAging (Moderator)
  • Stephanie Firestone, Senior Strategic Policy Advisor, Health & Age-friendly Communities, AARP (Host) 
  • Esther Greenhouse, Built Environment Strategist and Environmental Gerontologist; and Strategic Director, TC Age Friendly Center for Excellence (Introductory Remarks) 
 

Virtual Dialogue 1: Enable By Design and Drive Informed Demand
September 24, 2020
Featured Speakers

  • Dr. Mariela Alfonzo, Founder and CEO, State of Place
  • Henry Cisneros, Former U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development and Co-Chief Investment Officer and Chairman, American Triple I Partners
  • Ifeoma Ebo, Urban Designer, Strategist and Founding Director of Creative Urban Alchemy
  • Dr. Bill Thomas, Lifesprk Independence Officer; Cofounder, ChangingAging (Moderator)
  • Stephanie Firestone, Senior Strategic Policy Advisor, Health & Age-friendly Communities, AARP (Host) 
  • Esther Greenhouse, Built Environment Strategist and Environmental Gerontologist; and Strategic Director, TC Age Friendly Center for Excellence (Introductory Remarks) 
 

Related Resources

Equity by Design: Rebuilding Housing and Communities Post-COVID-19
"COVID-19 has caused decision-makers and professionals in the built-environment sectors to rethink how we design and create everything from housing, to retail and commercial buildings, to transportation and infrastructure, to effective open spaces and communities."

Equity by Design: Redefining “Senior Living”
A Conversation with Stephanie Firestone, Esther Greenhouse, and Dr. Bill Thomas

"When we design for the oldest and youngest generations, ultimately, we all benefit. With this in mind, every industry should seek to design for, entice, and delight the new aging consumer."

PHEAL - PLANNING FOR HEALTH EQUITY, ADVOCACY, AND LEADERSHIP
A BLUEPRINT FOR THE COVID-19 ERA

“The thinking and process behind the development of AARP’s Principles for Creating Enabling & Equitable Housing and Multigenerational Communities were instrumental in inspiring and informing PHEAL.”

Post-COVID-19 COMMUNITY INTEGRATION: THE CASE FOR EQUITY BY DESIGN
"The window that COVID-19 has pried open presents an opportunity to address and transcend the functional consequences of segregation, and to develop and implement a community integration strategy based on the enduring value of healthy, diverse and enabling communities."
A sponsored column for ASA Generations Today

Collaborating Organizations

We thank the following collaborators on this series who are helping us reach the widest possible audience in the built environment sector, from policy to practice to academia and beyond.

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