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Macon-Bibb First U.S. Community Officially Named Age-Friendly by AARP
Macon and Bibb County Join National Network of Communities Pledged to Make Services and Neighborhoods More User-Friendly for People age 50 and Older
MACON - Macon-Bibb County today became the first American community to join an elite worldwide network of age-friendly communities. In presenting Macon-Bibb County with its membership certificate in the AARP Network of Age-Friendly Communities today, AARP Georgia acknowledged Macon-Bibb’s commitment and its multi-year plan to become more accessible, convenient and, ultimately, more user-friendly for older Americans. “As Macon-Bibb’s boomer population ages, the area’s businesses and services are affected along with the residents,” said Karen Cooper, associate state director of outreach for AARP Georgia. “But if we understand and plan to address the needs and opportunities presented by an aging population, we can improve Macon-Bibb’s services, business climate and infrastructure for everyone.” Macon-Bibb County becomes the first AARP Age-Friendly Community in the U.S. Six others are expected to follow soon: Westchester County, NY; New York City; Des Moines; Philadelphia; Bowling Green, KY; and Portland, OR. “We are striving to build a sustainable community in Macon, and that includes creating programs and looking at development and infrastructure that promote a walkable, livable, multimodal, and green lifestyle,” says Macon Mayor Robert Reichert. “The work that we do as an Age-Friendly Community will benefit our older population, as well as a younger generation that is becoming more and more interested in living in an area where they can walk or bike wherever they need to go.” Bibb County Commission Chairman Samuel F. Hart, Sr. concurred. “We are united in our efforts to move our community forward, and being designated as an Age-Friendly Community is a sign that
we are moving in the right direction. Responding to demographic aging is an effective policy approach that is beneficial to people of all ages, and we are thrilled to partner with AARP in this important work.” “Macon-Bibb County is already an appealing place to live,” said Cooper, “and this new commitment will make it a more vibrant community for everyone, including older residents.” On becoming a member of the AARP Network of Age-Friendly Communities, a community’s first step in the planning process is to establish an advisory citizens committee to identify the needs of older adults within the community. For Macon-Bibb, AARP will also immediately conduct a workshop to identify potential age-friendly infrastructure improvements in the Tattnall Square neighborhood. The workshop, which will be led by Dan Burden, co-founder and executive director of the Walkable and Livable Communities Institute, will be held Thursday. Macon-Bibb County’s engagement in the AARP Network of Age-Friendly Communities will also qualify it as a member of the World Health Organization Global Network of Age-Friendly Cities and Communities. This membership makes a variety of successful age-friendly strategies, planning tools and other resources available to Macon-Bibb. AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization with a membership that helps people 50+ have independence, choice and control in ways that are beneficial and affordable to them and society as a whole. AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to either political campaigns or candidates. We produce AARP The Magazine, the definitive voice for 50+ Americans and the world's largest-circulation magazine with nearly 35 million readers; AARP Bulletin, the go-to news source for AARP's millions of members and Americans 50+; AARP VIVA, our bilingual multimedia platform for Hispanic members; and our website, AARP.org. AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity that provides security, protection, and empowerment to older persons in need with support from thousands of volunteers, donors, and sponsors. We have staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. AARP serves nearly 1 million members in Georgia from its state office in Atlanta.