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Streetfilms teamed up with the Public Policy Institute at AARP to take a look at how Transit Oriented Development helps seniors in in Arlington, Virginia remain independent and active. As the Baby Boom generation ages, more and more Americans lose thier ability to drive.

TOD helps older adults maintain their independence by providing good pedestrian access to a variety of public transit options, entertainment and recreation, and basic services such as shopping and health care. As Rodney Harrell, senior strategic policy advisor at AARP’s Public Policy Institute points out, “When you plan for older adults, you plan for the entire community.”

Yesterday, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved their 2013 Transportation spending bill which includes the restoration of $50 million in funding to the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)’s Sustainable Communities Initiative. GrowSmartRI promoted passage of this funding with Senator Reed who sits on the Committee. More information is available from our national partners at Smart Growth America.

“This legislation will create jobs and make critical investments in our nation’s roads, bridges, rail and transit systems, and airports. The bill also preserves an essential part of the country’s safety net by protecting housing assistance for low-income families and veterans,” Murray later said in a statement.

Better! Cities & Towns brings us news about a new mixed-use live/work project in Seattle.

Creating spaces in which casual, informal interaction between live-work residents occurs naturally is the most important element in encouraging a sense of community. The nature of those spaces can make the difference between an alienating structure and a fully functioning community. The entry situation—that transition between the moment one enters the complex and the time one closes one’s own door—determines whether one feels a part of something larger, something greater than one’s private, insular, often isolated life. This brief passage, however fleeting, offers the opportunity for interaction, the chance for communication with other residents. This, then, is the starting point of community.

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