Spoiler alert: the suggestions offered in the article discussed below are not only valuable and awesome, but also are being voiced by citizens on SeeClickFix each day!
According to the U.S. Census, the population of people 65 or older in America is expected to double by the year 2030. Worldwide, it is estimated that the global population of people over 60 will double by 2050. As the population of senior citizens continues to grow, the number of people living in urban areas does as well. What does this simultaneous surge in population mean for the aging? How will urban planners and local officials with limited resources ensure cities are accessible to everyone? A recent article in Governing titled Seniors and the City explores what is being done to make cities more age-friendly.
...there are steps cities can take to make a place more attractive to the elderly without costing an arm and a leg. Take crosswalks. By adding more time, cities can turn what seem like fast dashes for some into less stressful pedestrian crossings. If lengthening crosswalk time might trip up traffic patterns, the use of pedestrian islands at major intersections could be another solution to this small but nagging problem.
The article illustrates how small, inexpensive changes in urban environments can make a positive impact on our aging population. A few extra seconds on a crosswalk signal or additional handicap parking spaces are examples of the types of minor tweaks that can create a major improvement in quality of life for older residents. Furthermore, creating more accommodating urban public spaces that are inviting to all citizens benefits everyone who calls a city "home", regardless of age!
Here at SeeClickFix, the idea of using our platform to benefit our elders isn't a new idea. With help from citizens of all ages, cities and towns can use our technology to promote an inclusive, age-friendly urban environment. As the saying goes, we're not getting any younger. We all must take an active role in making our cities accessible to everyone, not only to benefit our elders but for our own benefit as well. How would you improve your community to benefit an aging population? Know of a scary sidewalk or a bus stop that needs more benches? Tell us! Report an issue on SeeClickFix and share it with us here, on Facebook, or on Twitter @seeclickfix.