January 9, 2018 - The creative work of Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry is showcased in the second title in AARP’s Where We Live: Communities for All Ages series, now available for free.

This edition shares new and inspiring solutions from community leaders across the nation who are responding to the most pressing needs of aging populations and are creating better environments where residents of all ages can thrive, including how Mayor Henry addressed making Fort Wayne’s streets safer to use for people of all ages through the adoption of a Complete Streets policy.

“Complete Streets is very near to my heart,” said Linda Dunno, an AARP volunteer in Fort Wayne who pushed the city to adopt the policy. “I saw first-hand the struggles my son and daughter-in-law had trying to get my grandson’s wheelchair onto sidewalks with narrow curb cuts. Having safe sidewalks, pedestrian crossings, wider curb cuts and traffic signals that allow pedestrians to cross streets safely are crucial to making our community a better place to live.”

Dunno’s grandchild, Cohen Smith, was born with severe handicaps and died in 2015, at age 5. Dunno’s 93-year-old father, Vernon Medaugh, would also benefit from safer streets so he could walk the quarter mile from his home to a shopping area that includes a post office, restaurants, banks and a movie theater. Currently it is too dangerous to walk there safely.

Similar to the first edition of Where We Live, the book focuses on seven areas of livability, including:

  • Housing
  • Transit, Streets and Sidewalks
  • Public Places and Outdoor Spaces
  • Health and Wellness
  • Community Engagement
  • Work, Volunteerism and Opportunity
  • Arts, Entertainment and Fun.

“The tremendous response we received from the first edition shows the need and desire to share more solutions at the community level,” said Nancy LeaMond, AARP Executive Vice President of Community, State and National Affairs. “In the second edition of Where We Live, AARP celebrates the wide variety of community members from every state who are taking real action and encouraging others to help meet the needs of their communities.”

Adds Ms. LeaMond: “We hope that with this book, and our related Livable Communities website, (AARP.org/livable) and award-winning AARP Livable Communities e-Newsletter (AARP.org/livable-subscribe), we can provide a platform to inspire even more creativity and sharing of best practices to spur innovation in making all communities great places for people of all ages.”

For more information or to order a free copy of Where We Live, visit AARP.org/WhereWeLive.