An age and disability friendly city is a healthy and livable city.
Community Vision participated in a City of Portland project that has developed strategies for creating age-friendly and disability-inclusive urban neighborhoods.
We helped facilitate a working group that gathered input from a wide variety of community members. The working group then developed the Age- and Disability-Inclusive Neighborhoods (ADIN) Action Plan, which was released in September 2023.
The ADIN Action Plan has strategies “to create ‘complete neighborhoods,’ where people of all ages and those with disabilities can access housing and employment options; grocery stores and other commercial services; schools, parks, and trails; affordable transportation options, and civic amenities.”
The plan advocates for creating age- and disability-friendly neighborhood centers, increasing accessible public spaces, and providing more support for those wanting to age in place.
Community Vision friend and partner Alan DeLaTorre oversaw the project and was the main author of the report. He talked about the plan on OPB’s “Think Out Loud” in October.
“Across every point in life, whether it’s early childhood, middle age, etcetera, [we’re] trying to think about planning a community where you can grow up and grow old, not just where you can be old,” DeLaTorre said.
One of the topics the plan addresses is loneliness. DeLaTorre said, “I think part of the solution here is ensuring that our public spaces are accessible and inclusive.”
He admitted that there are complexities to planning inclusive environments:
“So I was sitting in on a focus group where we were ‘ground truthing’ some of the findings that we had from our working group. And this was a focus group with people with disabilities. And as we were talking about what good public space meant to those individuals, we had two almost exactly opposite answers. One of the individuals said, ‘I need a place that feels open, that’s wide, where I don’t feel claustrophobic and closed in.’ The next person, who was blind said, ‘I need a space that’s smaller and compact where I feel like I can navigate without the need of somebody else to help me.’
“So I’d say there’s no silver bullet to designing these environments. But there are opportunities for us to continue to connect with each other through housing environments like cottage clusters, accessory dwelling units. It’s kind of one opportunity, but I think we need to figure out ways as a society, as a community, to lean into each other in many ways.”
Community Vision is proud to have been part of creating this project.
You can learn more about Portland’s Age and Disability Inclusive Neighborhoods Project and Age-Friendly City Program and download the ADIN report.
Learn more about Community Vision’s Housing Resources.