Closing the generation gap might prove to be one of the greatest legacies of WHO’s age-friendly city initiative. “What we have tended to do in public health is to isolate people into target groups. It may have been well-meaning, but we now talk and think about maternal health, child health, old people’s health,” he says. “This artificial compartmentalization marginalizes older people. By making us think about how we all link to each other, regardless of our age, age-friendly cities show us a different, more connected, future.”
-John Beard, director of the Department of Ageing and Life Course at the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva.
On March 25th, Mayor Walsh announced that the City of Boston will adopt Vision Zero, based on the premise that traffic crashes, injuries, and fatalities can be prevented by adopting effective policies and systematic evaluation, enforcement, engineering, education, and community engagement. By adopting Vision Zero, the City of Boston joins cities such as New York, San Francisco, and Chicago, which have committed to making traffic safety a priority. Toward that end, Mayor Walsh has convened a Vision Zero Task Force to develop an action plan for a comprehensive and coordinated strategy to eliminate traffic fatalities and injuries in Boston.
This is very significant development for our Age-Friendly Boston initiative, as it will help older residents feel safe and secure on the sidewalks and streets of Boston.
Press Release: http://www.cityofboston.gov/news/
In honor of tax time, here are some great programs residents may be eligible to take advantage of: Mayor Walsh asked the Water and Sewer Commission to freeze rates for the water portion of your water and sewer bill: http://bwsc.org/SERVICES/billing_assistance/discounts.asp The underused Circuit Breaker Income Tax Break: http://www.mass.gov/dor/individuals/filing-and-payment-information/guide-to-personal-income-tax/credits/real-estate-tax-credit.html Administered through the Elderly Commission is a Senior Citizen Property Tax Work-Off Program. This program helps qualified Senior homeowners save up to $1,000 on their property tax bill if they volunteer up to 112 hours at municipal offices, local schools, or community centers from July 1 – November 23. The applications will be available in April. To qualify:
Bay State Banner: City pursues improvements for elderly residents
The Boston Globe: Walsh hosts forum to hear concerns of the elderly
Boston Orange: Local Chinese newspaper on Age-Friendly Boston Civic Academy
Daily Free Press: Civil Academy discusses city issues concerning Boston’s elderly
JP Gazette: Senior Life: City plans a senior-friendly future
This afternoon I had a chance to drop by the “Never too Late” group at the Boston Public Library.
The Never Too Late Group is one of the country’s oldest, continuously running groups for seniors. For over 60 years, it has provided a setting for seniors to gather together and enjoy with their friends a wide variety of unique programs that are entertaining and culturally enriching.
Programs are held year-round in the Commonwealth Salon on Thursdays at 2:00 pm. A typical month consists of classic and contemporary films, live musical performances, and author or lecture talks about various topics, especially on Boston or Massachusetts history.
Today, the Nancy Carr Quartet performed wonderful standards with spring in their titles such as, “April in Paris,” and “Spring can hold you up the most.” What a lovely way to spend an afternoon.
Thank you Jonathan Sachs and the Design for Aging Committee
We had a very successful kick-off event for the Age-Friendly Boston initiative at the historic Faneuil Hall in downtown Boston. The conversation was enormously interesting and we look forward to many more community listening sessions in the months to come!
Mayor Walsh launched the Civic Academies Initiative to make city government accessible, transparent and inclusive, and to encourage and support lively civic engagement on a range of issues that are most important to our residents.
The civic academies are a way for residents to collaborate with local government and get involved in city-run initiatives—for residents to learn about them, and for the city to learn from our residents.
Boston has joined the World Health Organization’s network of age-friendly cities and is dedicated to developing policies and practices to enhance quality of life for residents 50 and over. This initiative begins with the question, “What can we do to make Boston a more age-friendly city?”
The Age-Friendly Civic Academy will be the first formal opportunity for the city and our partners, UMass Boston Gerontology Institute and AARP, to hear the voices of Boston residents on a variety of topics such as housing, transportation, outdoor spaces and buildings, respect and social inclusion, social participation, civic engagement and employment, communication and information, community support and health services.
With information we hear at this session and in the community listening sessions in the months to come, we will draft an action plan, working with partners across sectors to turn these ideas into reality.
Please join us on Saturday, February 28th for the Age-Friendly Boston Civic Academy!
When: Saturday, February 28th, 2015
Place: The Great Hall, Faneuil Hall, Boston, MA
Time: Registration 9:30 -10 a.m.
Program 10:00-11:30 a.m.
Space is limited, please RSVP to https://www.eventbrite.com/e/age-friendly-boston-civic-academy-tickets-15622583568
If you have any questions about the event, please contact:
Andrea Burns, 617-635-4877, Andrea.Burns@Boston.gov