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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                        November 16, 2006

 

 

CITY OFFERS FREE PUBLIC FORUM TODAY

ON LIVABLE COMMUNITIES IN AN AGING SOCIETY

 

Experts say rail and transit-oriented development (TOD) are critical components

to address the development of livable communities for Oahu's aging population

 

            The Elderly Affairs Division of the City's Department of Community Services is hosting a forum today (Thursday, November 16)  at the Mission Memorial Auditorium on the grounds of Honolulu Hale on “Designing Livable Communities in an Aging Society” from 9 to 11 a.m.  This forum is a follow-up to an invitation-only conference held yesterday and attended by more than 130 business and government leaders and advocates for older adults.  The forum will feature two speakers from yesterday’s conference, Sandy Markwood and Hale Takazawa.

 

            At yesterday's conference sponsored by the Executive Office on Aging and the four Area Agencies on Aging, several of the speakers highlighted the importance of public transportation and the need for options for seniors to remain mobile when they are no longer able or willing to drive.

 

            Sandy Markwood, chief executive officer of the Washington, D.C.-based National Association of Area Agencies on Aging, also known as n4a, emphasized the importance of older adults being able to become familiar with taking an alternate form of transportation, such as rail, before they reach an age at which learning new activities may become too much of a challenge.

 

            Hale Takazawa, a principal at the architectural firm of Pacific Atelier International, Inc., and who represented the American Institute of Architects (AIA), opened his presentation by stating that we need to “take back our streets from cars” if we truly want to create livable communities for our aging population.

 

            Mae Mendelson, a National Member of AARP, provided a personal perspective of what she, as an aging member of our community, wants for herself as she “ages in place,” and that is the ability to remain mobile.  Her plea was to make sure that she has mobility options when she is no longer able to drive.

 

            Throughout the day, both planners and advocates emphasized the need to create more walkable communities and how the design of sidewalks, timing of walk signals, and mixed use development are critical components to achieving this goal.

 

            No registration is required for today's forum. For details, call the City's Senior Hotline, 768-7700.

 

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Media contact:

            Debbie Kim Morikawa, Director of Community Services, 768-7760

            Mark Matsunaga, 527-5767

 

 

 

Thursday, November 16, 2006

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