The Challenge:

Global as well as local priorities such as climate resilience, healthcare, and other efforts to advance UN Sustainable Development Goals, fail to fully consider and address the major demographic change of population aging, often treating these as disparate concerns. 

The Principle:

We shall tap existing efforts to advance UN Sustainable Development Goals, as opportunities in a post-COVID-19 world to regenerate and retrofit our built environment assets using a lifelong lens.

Watch Related Video

Virtual Dialogue 6: Include Age-Friendliness in Other Priorities & 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) 




INGO that works with partners to build inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable cities and communities and also promotes urbanization as a positive transformative force for people and communities, reducing inequality, discrimination and poverty.

Global Creative Leadership Initiative

An organization that helps communities in small island nations and African countries with the goal of community empowerment by employing architectural and urban interventions.

Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University: Aging Resources

A research center that advances understanding of housing issues and informs policy. Through its research, education, and public outreach programs, the Center helps leaders in government, business, and the civic sectors make decisions that effectively address the needs of cities and communities.

Cohousing Association of the United States

The Cohousing Association of the United States is a national nonprofit supporting cohousing communities in changing our world. Spreading the word about cohousing shifts the culture toward a new American dream where every home is surrounded by caring, collaborative neighbors who use less of the earth’s resources while living an abundant life.

CDC Healthy Aging Network

Tools and resources to:

  • better understand the determinants of healthy aging in diverse populations and settings;
  • identify, develop and evaluate programs and policies that promote healthy aging; and
  • translate and disseminate research into effective and sustainable public health programs and policies throughout the nation.

Village of Hope

An intentional and inclusive M.A.G.I.C. community (multi-ability, multi-generational, inclusive, community, a concept created by Dr. Bill Thomas) where individuals of all ages and abilities are welcomed and appreciated as unique and important to the overall functioning of the community.   

Elevate Eldercare

 A podcast series with Susan Ryan, senior director of The Green House Project, on the opportunities and challenges to actualizing a vision for dignified eldercare through the lens of the Green House model of long-term care.


A coalition to significantly increase the number of American homes prepared for residents to live throughout the modern lifespan by conducting research and educating consumers and legislators. They advocate for policies which will enable older adults to update their homes to support their needs.

One Roof Chicago

An emerging initiative to build a welcoming and inclusive intergenerational community for older adults and young people in the LGBTQ+ community most in need of affirming housing, meaningful connection, and career development. 

Community Tool Box

The Community Tool Box is a free, online resource for those working to build healthier communities and bring about social change. It offers thousands of pages of tips and tools for taking action in communities, with a particular focus on community assessment, planning, intervention, evaluation, and advocacy.  Access to over 300 educational modules and other free tools.

Future Implementation Guide

Provides tools, templates, and land-use and zoning recommendations for creating age-friendly communities. Created in New Jersey, but applicable broadly.

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For more information about AARP's Equity by Design work, contact: 
Stephanie K. Firestone
, Senior Strategic Policy Advisor for Health and Age-Friendly Communites, AARP International.