AARP, the US largest organisation for older persons, has recently launched a web-based Livability Index to measure community livability. It is intended to inform and encourage policymakers and citizens to take action to make their communities more livable.
For some, a livable community makes it convenient to travel by foot, bike, or transit to access nearby stores, parks, and other amenities. For others, affordable housing or open space is more important. Because people look for different things when searching for a satisfying place to call home, measuring the livability of cities and towns across the United States can be challenging. This Index gives higher scores to communities with diverse features that help people of all ages, incomes, and abilities—not just older persons. Livability is about realising values that are central to healthy communities: independence, choice, and security.
In AARP Livability Index, users can use their address, ZIP Code, or community to find an overall livability score, as well as a score for each of seven major livability categories: housing, neighborhood, transportation, environment, health, engagement, and opportunity. Users also can customize the Index to place higher or lower emphasis on the livability features of most importance to them. For each category, the Index evaluates current conditions using a diverse set of metric indicators, considers policies and programmes that can enhance community livability over time, and provides useful links and resources.