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EPA Will Recognize Community Development Improvements for Older Adults

Release Date: 09/26/2006
Contact Information: Enesta Jones, (202) 564-4355 /

(9/26/06) EPA, with partner organizations across the country, is developing a national pilot program to recognize communities that factor into community planning, environmental considerations and the need for older adults to be physically active. Entitled, "Building Healthy Communities for Active Aging," the goal of the program is to raise awareness about the importance of linking Smart Growth with the need for and desire by older adults to be physically active.

Smart Growth is characterized by development patterns that create attractive, distinctive, walkable communities that give people of varying age, wealth, and physical ability a range of safe, affordable, convenient choices where they live and how they get around. Growing smart also ensures that existing resources are used efficiently and that lands and buildings that shape communities are preserved.

The program will recognize community planning and development that improves quality of life for older adults in U.S. counties, cities and towns, including American Indian communities. Active Aging calls attention to the need for older adults to regularly participate in a variety of structured and unstructured physical activities. Communities can promote active aging by implementing a diverse selection of accessible physical activity programs, and by helping to make self-directed physical activity opportunities for those 60-plus more accessible.

The EPA's Aging Initiative program will spearhead this multi-agency effort, which was developed in partnership with the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Council on Aging's Center for Healthy Aging, and the National Blueprint Office.

Additionally, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, through its Active for Life program, will support a Healthy Communities for Active Aging Learning Network for participating communities and American Indian tribes.

Fact Sheet about Building Healthy Communities for Active Aging: