CRP Researchers Win Award for Advancing All-Ages Community Design

two woman seated at laptop computers

Professor Warner and Ph.D. candidate Xue Zhang (M.S. RS '17) prepare a presentation of their research. Patti Witten / AAP

April 8, 2019

In April, a team of researchers that included Professor Mildred Warner, CRP, and regional science Ph.D. candidate Xue Zhang (M.S. RS '17) was awarded Best Contribution to the Planning Profession for the collaborative research project "Livable Communities for All Ages: International Planner Engagement and Best Practices." The project was selected by the Divisions Council of the American Planning Association (APA).

Warner and Zhang worked with the International Division of the APA, colleagues from AARP, and the international consulting firm Arup to field an international survey of more than 500 planners in 33 countries. Led by Stephanie K. Firestone, senior strategic policy advisor for AARP International, and Tim Van Epp of the APA International Division, Warner and Zhang composed the core team that created and interpreted the research. The team examined how planners and jurisdictions are — and are not — incorporating standards for physical and social infrastructures that "support residents throughout an expanding life course." From survey results, the project identified eight strategies to help age-friendly community advocates engage planners to incorporate aging considerations into their planning work.

"Bringing gender, child, and aging issues to the attention of the planning profession has been a hallmark of my contribution to the planning field," says Warner. "I'm proud and pleased to share this award with students and planning colleagues."

An article presenting key findings from the research appears in AARP International's The Journal (volume 12, 2019), an issue devoted to educating age-friendly advocates. The award will be given at the APA's 2019 National Planning Conference held April 13–16 in San Francisco.

By Patti Witten

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