The Rome Workshop: Building Child and Age Friendly Communities: Lessons from Rome . . . for New York City

A group of students with the city of Florence, Italy, in the background.
Cornell in Rome students above Florence, Italy. photo / provided
A group of college students and kids standing together
Rome Workshop students and school children in Borgo, Italy. photo / provided
A small group of young people and elderly looking at papers on a table
A team of students working with a group of older adults. photo / provided
a large group of school children and adults surround a rendering on a table
Students and school children examine the plan for Scampia, Italy. photo / provided
children working in a garden
School children working in a garden. photo / provided

What makes a city child and age friendly? Students in the Cornell in Rome program focused on four peripheral neighborhoods in the Eternal City (Rome, Italy) to try to find the answer. Rome revealed surprising insights into what makes a place hospitable for children and the elderly. First is the physical layer — transportation, land use planning, housing, services, and public space. Next is the social layer — community groups, market associations, libraries, schools, senior centers, and residents. The researchers found that while the physical layer is important, the social layer can ameliorate or exacerbate deficiencies in physical planning. Insights from Rome offer cautions and hope to community planners in the U.S. where physical design is often inadequate.

The Rome workshop panel will be followed by a poster session and reception in Milstein Hall dome from 2 to 2:30 p.m. An afternoon workshop will explore the links to New York state from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. This will include Professor Mildred Warner presenting results of national surveys and students presenting research in Sullivan County, New York, followed by a panel of New York state experts and a discussion with planners and community leaders from around the state. The event will conclude with a reception from 4:30 to 5 p.m.

Cosponsored by Engaged Cornell and Cornell Cooperative Extension.