St. Pete Wants to Be Age-Friendly City
Officials are holding a community conversation to hear residents’ thoughts on how to get there.
ST. PETERSBURG – Officials here are asking people of all ages to help them envision and shape St. Petersburg’s future as an age-friendly community.
They’ve scheduled a community conversation – Livability in the ‘Burg – for 10 a.m. to noon Saturday (Feb. 11) at the Sunshine Center, 330 Fifth St. N. Among the topics are social inclusion, civic participation and employment, transportation, community support and health services, housing, and outdoor spaces and buildings.
The event is one of the first steps to attaining the city’s goal of becoming an official “Age-Friendly City” as recognized by the World Health Organization. The St. Petersburg Age-Friendly Initiative is a collaboration among AARP Florida, the Institute for Strategic Policy Solutions at St. Petersburg College, the Area Agency on Aging of Pasco-Pinellas and the city. The AARP Network of Age-Friendly Communities is an affiliate of the World Health Organization’s Age-Friendly Cities and Communities Program. AARP facilitates and guides communities through the network’s implementation and assessment process.
The Age-Friendly Cities and Communities Global Network, encompassing 300 communities in 33 countries, is an international effort by WHO to help people live easily and comfortably in their homes and communities as they age. St. Petersburg is at the forefront of a demographic shift to a rapidly-aging population. WHO projects that people aged 60 and older as a proportion of the global population will double from 11 percent in 2006 to 22 percent by 2050. In St. Petersburg, with a median age of 43.4 years, roughly 30 percent of the population is age 55 and older.
The purpose of the Age-Friendly designation is to promote active aging – that is, the process of optimizing opportunities for health, participation and security in order to enhance quality of life as people age. In an age-friendly city, policies, services, settings and structures support and enable people to age actively by:
- Recognizing the wide range of capacities and resources among older people;
- Anticipating and responding flexibly to aging-related needs and preferences;
- Respecting decisions and lifestyle choices;
- Protecting those who are most vulnerable;
- Promoting their inclusion in and contribution to all areas of community life.
Since 2015, community representatives have met to lay the groundwork for the launch of the age-friendly designation process. Now listening sessions are being held around St. Petersburg designed to assess the city’s assets and opportunities as they relate to eight age-friendly domains—transportation, housing, public spaces, social participation, respect and social inclusion, civic participation and employment, communication and information, and community support and health services.
For information or to register, go to solutions.spcollege.edu. Walk-ins are accepted.
Age-Friendly St. Pete | Community Conversation | Aging | Events | Things to Do | TB Reporter
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