Don’t walk much? Maybe it’s your neighborhood

“How do we make it so everybody could just naturally go out and walk or bike and get to know their neighbors?”


That’s a question that Dan Burden, co-founder and a director of the Walkable and Livable Communities Institute (WALC), will pose at a free event Wednesday, July 30, 5:30-6:30 p.m. at Des Moines’ Hiatt Middle School, 1214 E. 15th Street. The public is encouraged to attend to learn how walkability and livability benefit one’s neighborhood and how to create a community that works for its residents. Refreshments will be provided.

The event is part of the Age-Friendly Greater Des Moines effort that’s under way by several organizations and initiatives, including AARP Iowa, Des Moines University, the city of Des Moines and the Healthy Polk 2020 effort.

A bit of background: In 2006, leaders of the World Health Organization realized aging presents a global challenge; to encourage communities to prepare for that, the organization brought together 33 cities in 22 countries to determine key elements of urban environments that support active, healthy aging. These cities formed the Global Network of Age-Friendly Cities. Des Moines became just the third Age-Friendly City in the United States in 2011.

Since then, the Des Moines “Great Places for All Ages”/Age-Friendly City group has worked to engage public officials, elder service providers, community leaders, businesses and community members in the metro area. The basic premise is that cities and communities that are friendly to older people are also wonderful and appealing to people of all ages.

Register for Wednesday’s event by visiting the AARP website here or by calling 877-926-8300. Walk on!

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