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

panel of students in front of a screen
URS Rome workshop participants gather for the Q&A session following their presentations in the Abby and Howard Milstein Auditorium. William Staffeld / AAP
a woman holding a microphone
Kai Walcott (B.S. URS '18) presenting her group project, Case Study of Piazza Alessandria. William Staffeld / AAP
woman in front of a podium microphone
Amelia Visnauskas (B.S. URS '18) and Eduardo Carmelo (B.S. URS '18) present their project. William Staffeld / AAP
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
people seated in an auditorium
Guest panelist Esther Greenhouse responds during the Q&A session. William Staffeld / AAP
woman in front of a microphone
Lorraine Maxwell, associate professor of design and environmental analysis, responds during the panel discussion. William Staffeld / AAP
a group of people looking at posters in a exhibition space
Students, faculty, and guests review posters from the Rome workshop during a reception in the Milstein Hall dome. William Staffeld / AAP
Three people in front of posters mounted on a wall
Eduardo Carmelo (B.S. URS '18), at right, with his parents during the reception in the Milstein Hall dome. William Staffeld / AAP
URS Rome workshop participants gather for the Q&A session following their presentations in the Abby and Howard Milstein Auditorium. William Staffeld / AAP Kai Walcott (B.S. URS '18) presenting her group project, Case Study of Piazza Alessandria. William Staffeld / AAP Amelia Visnauskas (B.S. URS '18) and Eduardo Carmelo (B.S. URS '18) present their project. William Staffeld / AAP Students and school children examine the plan for Scampia, Italy. photo / provided Guest panelist Esther Greenhouse responds during the Q&A session. William Staffeld / AAP Lorraine Maxwell, associate professor of design and environmental analysis, responds during the panel discussion. William Staffeld / AAP Students, faculty, and guests review posters from the Rome workshop during a reception in the Milstein Hall dome. William Staffeld / AAP Eduardo Carmelo (B.S. URS '18), at right, with his parents during the reception in the Milstein Hall dome. William Staffeld / AAP

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.