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Universal design, multi-generational planning, communities


The United States is undergoing a critical demographic transition: The population is aging. By 2040, the proportion of people over the age of 65 will top 20 percent, and people under the age of 18 will make up almost 23 percent of the population. As a result, the oldest and the youngest populations combined will make up almost half of all U.S. residents. This trend is also a global one, directly affecting planning practice worldwide (WHO 2007). As planners work to plan and design sustainable and livable communities they will need to simultaneously consider the needs of these similar, yet different, populations in future plans, policies, and projects


This issue brief is available online.

Publisher Attribution

Ghazaleh, R.A., Greenhouse, E., Homsy, G.C. & Warner, M. (2011) Using smart growth and universal design to link the needs of children and the aging population briefing paper. Chicago: American Planning Association. [issue brief]



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