AARP video touts TOD benefits for seniors

Posted on May 21, 2012

A new video developed by senior advocacy group AARP shows how transit-oriented development (TOD) facilitates the independence and mobility of older adults.

A sure sign of a successful neighborhood is one where residents excitedly volunteer to tell personal stories of how well their neighborhood works for them.  The new six-minute video from AARP’s Public Policy Institute features residents of the Ballston neighborhood in Arlington, Va., explaining the ease and comfort of living there and getting where they need to go.

Through conversations with residents, local officials and planning experts, the video, “Active Living for All Ages: Creating Neighborhoods Around Transit,” shows how TOD facilitates the independence and mobility of older adults. The Arlington, Va., residents describe the satisfaction of living in a user-friendly, walkable, mixed-use community with access to a variety of public transit options, entertainment and recreation, and basic services such as shopping and medical amenities.

Arlington officials explain how the county’s design features create a pedestrian-oriented, accessible community. The film is designed to help planners and community leaders explain the concept of TOD.

Lila Sanger, an Arlington resident featured in the film, explains moving to the Ballston neighborhood after she was widowed and finding she could walk to neighborhood shops, restaurants and entertainment.  With the extensive County transit system, she also was provided almost door-to-door access to her favorite craft supply stores.

“Thanks to the wise planning of Arlington County, I opened new doors for myself, asserting my independence,” Sanger said.  I am indebted to the County of Arlington for having created an environment that enhances the lives of its citizens. It was, and continues to be, a precious gift.”

AARP has been a long-time advocate for transit oriented development. In addition to the new video, several AARP research reports detail the value and challenges of TOD policies and their implementation. “Aging in Place:  A State Survey of Livability Policies and Practices” highlights the value of TOD and lists states that have TOD policies. To download the full report, click here.

“Preserving Affordability and Access in Livable Communities: Subsidized Housing Opportunities near Transit and the 50+ Population” explains the challenges of maintaining affordable housing near TOD in the face of gentrification.  

“Active Living for All Ages: Creating Neighborhoods Around Transit” was produced by AARP’s Public Policy Institute in collaboration with Streetfilms.  To view the video, visit  

AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization with a membership that helps people 50+ have independence, choice and control in ways that are beneficial and affordable to them and society as a whole.

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