West Sacramento has become the second city in California to take part in a program designed to make communities more accessible for older people.
The city last week joined the AARP network of Age-Friendly Communities, which encourages cities to make housing, transportation and community activities accessible for older residents.
Over the next five years, West Sacramento officials will work with AARP and community organizations to improve the city’s accessibility. The efforts will focus on the World Health Organization’s eight domains of livability, which assess a city’s physical accessibility and social inclusiveness.
In recent years, West Sacramento has drawn attention for efforts to attract young professionals and empty nesters to condos near the riverfront. Its Southport neighborhood has been popular among middle-class families who want to live close to downtown. And the city has hosted music festivals geared to young concertgoers, such as the TBD Fest and the Sacramento Music Festival.
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West Sacramento Mayor Christopher Cabaldon emphasized that the AARP improvements will improve the quality of life for all residents.
“The heart of our strategy in West Sacramento is being a city which you can enjoy comfortably and vibrantly at every stage of life,” he said.
Paul Beach, communications director of AARP California, praised Cabaldon’s “forward-thinking” approach, adding that his leadership made West Sacramento an ideal candidate for the program.
San Francisco is the only other AARP Age-Friendly Community in California. Beach expects other California communities to follow suit; the program is expanding across the country as well.
Some suburban communities, such as Rancho Cordova, have expressed interest in the project. While the plans will have to be specialized for each community, Beach said the program “is for all kinds of communities. It’s not one-size-fits-all.”