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America’s Best Intergenerational Communities – Building Livable Communities for Children, Youth, Families and Older Adults

Posted: December 10, 2012

A new report from Generations United, Dec 2012. To heighten awareness of the importance intergenerational solidarity plays in building strong, supportive communities, Generations United and MetLife Foundation teamed up to create the Best Intergenerational Communities Awards program.

This report takes a look at the five winners of the inaugural awards program:

  1. Georgetown, Texas
  2. Lamoni, Iowa
  3. Oberlin, Ohio
  4. San Diego (County), California
  5. Virginia Planning District 10 (includes: autonomous city of Charlottesville, and five surrounding communities (Albemarle, Fluvanna, Greene, Louisa and Nelson).

The profiles provided for each of these award winners includes:

  • A slogan for the intergenerational focus of the community
  • A snapshot of key facts on the communities
  • A description of intergenerational work
  • Quotes from younger and older community residents
  • Images of intergenerational connections in action

As noted in the report, the term “intergenerational community” refers to a place that:

  1. provides adequately for the safety, health, education and basic necessities of life for people of all ages;
  2. promotes programs, policies, and practices that increase cooperation, interaction, and exchange between people of different generations; and 
  3. enables all ages to share their talents and resources, and support each other in relationships that benefit both individuals and their community.

“An intergenerational community is not just one where multiple generations reside. It is one where individuals of all ages are an integral and valued part of the setting. This perspective is reflected in the families, structures, facilities and services that children and older adults encounter in the community, as well as in day-to-day interactions and relationships. Partnerships are essential to intergenerational communities and can be between local government, senior citizen homes, schools, businesses, local cultural and community organizations and services, families, older adults and children. An intergenerational community builds on the positive resources that each generation has to offer each other and those around them. It advances policies and practices that both acknowledge and promote intergenerational interdependence” (p. 2).

View report online