Danielle Arigoni: Climate Resilience for an Aging Nation

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Older man sitting on a park bench amongst trees in the sunshine

photo / Robert Thiemann via Unsplash


Older adults are disproportionately impacted by climate change, often accounting for the majority of disaster-related deaths, and yet they have historically been overlooked in climate resilience planning efforts. In order to better prepare for the rapid growth of this cohort — wherein by 2040, older adults will outnumber children for the first time ever — action is needed now at the community scale to reduce risks and better ensure the safety and well-being of people of all ages. This lecture will summarize insights and findings from a new book, Climate Resilience for an Aging Nation (Island Press, October 2023), which argues that climate resilience planning must be evaluated and implemented using a lens of aging. There is a role for all sectors (housing, transportation, health care and elder care, emergency management, and more) in implementing strategies that reduce risk for the growing share of older adults in our communities and enhance resilience for all.


Danielle Arigoni (M.R.P. '97)is an urban planner and community resilience expert.  She currently serves as Managing Director for Policy and Solutions at the National Housing Trust, providing strategic direction for the organization's sustainability and resilience policy efforts and oversight and guidance for NHT's state and local advisory services. She is the author of Climate Resilience for an Aging Nation (Island Press), which explores the impacts of climate change on people over 65 and the need for community-scale solutions to reduce risk for all.

Previously, Arigoni served as Director of Livable Communities at AARP where she designed and implemented a nationwide initiative to create more vibrant communities for all ages. Through more than a dozen new print publications, several new technical assistance programs, expansion of AARP's Age-Friendly Network of States and Communities from 40 to nearly 600, and direct support to 53 AARP state offices, this flagship initiative advanced more effective decision-making for housing, transportation, disaster resilience, and public space investment to better serve the needs of older adults. Between 2000 and 2017, Arigoni also held several leadership positions in HUD and EPA, playing a central role in developing policy and implementing programs under the HUD-DOT-EPA Partnership for Sustainable Communities and in HUD's groundbreaking $1 billion National Disaster Resilience Competition.

Arigoni holds a master's degree in City and Regional Planning from Cornell University and a bachelor's degree in Planning from the University of Oregon, and serves as a Board Member for the League of American Bicyclists and Smart Growth America.


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