Activities and curricula designed to engage youth and older adults in constructive dialogue about their community and issues related to community development.

Futures Festival

An Intergenerational Perspective to Community Development

Heritage Circles

This activity matches older adults, who are knowledgeable about the distinctive history of an area, with young people who would like to learn more about that history. Before the event, the older adults prepare brief presentations on select aspects of the area’s historical and cultural heritage; at the event, they are paired with children/youth on a rotating basis.

Intergenerational Community Development ... A Practice Guide

PDF document, 1.3 MB

Intergenerational Unity Forums

An intergenerational approach for addressing community issues - Applications in the UK (Kaplan & Hatton-Yeo, 2008).

Aging in Place ... with a Little Help from Our Friends

PDF document, 316.3 KB

An overview for Grantmakers about aging in the community

Intergenerational Contact Zones: A Compendium of Applications

This online publication consists of 14 chapters that highlight specific applications of the Intergenerational Contact Zones (ICZ) concept. The focus is on creating community settings that welcome age- and generation- diverse populations, provide opportunities for meaningful intergenerational engagement, and enrich community life.

All In Together: Creating Places Where Young and Old Thrive.

This 2018 report from Generations United and The Eisner Foundation includes the findings of two national surveys, profiles of model programs and recommendations for how we can increase the number of intergenerational shared sites.

An intergenerational outdoor space constructed in Baltimore, MD

AARP Maryland, AARP Foundation and their Experience Corps Program as well as Real School Gardens and Baltimore City Schools worked together to create this space at a Baltimore inner city elementary school. They worked within the parameters of their available budget, the skills and capacity of each partner, and the assets of their desired location.

Planning Across Generations

The Planning Across Generations project, led by Professor Mildred Warner (Department of City and Regional Planning at Cornell University), addresses how communities can benefit from planning to meet the needs of both families with children and the aging population.

American Planning Association: Family Friendly Communities

A toolkit for planning, engagement and action.

La Piazza

Technology enhanced public spaces for intergenerational learning.

The Viable Futures Center: Age-Wave Community Planning

A body of resources introducing various approaches for addressing the issues presented by the demographic trend of population aging. The orientation is one of promoting coordinated planning across organizations, governmental units, and commissions.

Intergenerational Spaces Lab (Spain)
Intergenerational Learning Spaces - Panel presentation

Panelists: Arthur Chang, AIA, Senior Project Architect, NADAAA; Matthew Kaplan, PhD, Professor, Intergenerational Programs and Aging, Penn State University; Margaret Sullivan, Principal, Margaret Sullivan Studio; and Joyce Weil, PhD, Curriculum Manager, Older Adults Technology Center (OATS). [Sponsored by the AIA/Center for Architecture, New York - March 2020]

What would a truly intergenerational community look like? (article)

Designing Inclusive Communities. Insights from Nancy Morrow-Howell. Article by Rosalind Early (Nov. 12, 2020), published in "The Source" (Washington University in St. Louis).

Creating Parks & Public Spaces for People of All Ages

A step-by-step guide for creating and improving green spaces and public spaces for people of all ages (by AARP Livable Communities, 8 80 Cities and The Trust for Public Land).

Where We Live: Communities for All Ages (AARP series)

Ideas, projects, and programs for how the "experienced class" (people who enhance communities through their skills and life lessons, influence and involvement) help communities respond to pressing issues, build partnerships, and improve community quality of life).

Addressing Social Isolation through the Built Environment

Addressing Social Isolation through the Built Environment (Dec. 10, 2020) is a one hour webinar featuring international urban scholar and practitioner Michael Mehaffy and Philip B. Stafford, anthropologist and Co-Design Director of Commons Planning, Inc.

Planning for the Needs of an Aging Population

This is the title of an article in "Planning Magazine" (Winter 2021), written by Meghan Stromberg and published by the American Planning Association. Includes links to three podcast-interviews: "Is Your Environment Limiting Your Functioning?" (Esther Greenhouse), "Changing Demographics and Livable Communities" (Rodney Harrell), and "Why We Need More Intergenerational Policies, Programs, and Places" (Matt Kaplan).

It Takes a Multigenerational Village to Raise Foster Kids

Planned, intergenerational communities can help support families raising foster children, as well as youth and elders seeking low-income housing and community. ["Stanford Social Innovation Review" article - by Derenda Schubert, Renee Mosely, Lindsay Magnuson, and Sarah Feldman.]

Guía de Centros Intergeneracionales [Intergenerational Shared Sites] - In Spanish

Intergenerational Shared Sites: Concepts, models, and best practices. Full reference: Sánchez, M., Rodríguez, A., Campos, C., Castillo, M., Bonachela, R., and González, L. (2021). Guía de Centros Intergeneracionales. Concepto y claves de puesta en marcha (Documento no2) [Intergenerational shared sites: Concept and start-up keys (Doc. #2)] Granada: Cátedra Macrosad de Estudios Intergeneracionales de la Universidad de Granada.

"Intergenerational Contact Zones" - Book review

PDF document, 244.0 KB

Joy, M. (2021). Book Review of Kaplan, Thang, Sanchez and Hoffman (Eds.). Intergenerational Contact Zones: Place-based Strategies for Promoting Social Inclusion and Belonging. New York: Routledge. 2020. Anthropology & Aging, 42(1), pp.167-169. ISSN 2374-2267 (online) DOI 10.5195/aa.2021.345

Bringing Together Young And Old To Ease The Isolation Of Rural Life

This NPR story (5 minute video clip) provides highlights from rural communities in Minessota that are tackling social isolation and loneliness via a statewide intergenerational program funded by the Northland Foundation, called "AGE to age".

Multigenerational Living - Podcast with Donna Butts

In this podcast, Donna Butts, Executive Director of Generations United, discusses trends and examples of multigenerational living. It is part of Stanford Center on Longevity's "Century Lives" podcast series on ways to ensure that our lives are not just longer, but healthy and rewarding as well.

Intergenerational & Age-friendly Living Ecosystems (AFLE)-report


The AFLE initiative, funded by the Scottish University Insight Institute, is a compelling, innovative framework for connecting people across generations, using creative, accesssible methods for creating mutually beneficial spaces. [Citation for the final report: Fang, M. L., Sixsmith, J., & Pryde Hamilton, A. (2022). Intergenerational and Age-friendly Living Ecosystems (AFLE). University of Dundee.]

Reimagining Intergenerational Housing (webinar)

Generations United, Nesterly, and Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies co-hosted an inspirational and informative virtual event on the emerging continuum of intergenerational living approaches, including home sharing, grandfamily housing, co-housing, and more; and how communities and organizations can help advance them [Aug. 23, 2022]

Intergenerational Community Planning

This is the title of a Dec. 2022 American Planning Association PAS report (Katz and Kaplan/ Generations United). The report shares how bringing an intergenerational lens to community planning can help planners identify the needs and vulnerabilities of the young and the old — as well as their assets and strengths — to create synergies and solutions that benefit everyone.

Intergenerational Play Spaces


This "AARP Equity by Design - Principles in Action" (2023) publication was written by Stephanie Firestone and Julia Glassman. As noted in the article, "Play is among the most beneficial forms of intergenerational engagement." The article highlights the critical role of the built environment in facilitating intergenerational play.

One Community, Many Generations - Overview

"One Community-Many Generations" is Penn State Extension's interactive community-assessment tool and planning process to build age-inclusive, livable communities and initiate community action plans.

One Community - Many Generations - Guidebook

PDF document, 3.3 MB

The One Community Many Generations - Guidebook provides a detailed outline of the "One Community—Many Generations" intergenerational community engagement model developed by Penn State Extension's Leadership and Community Vitality program team in partnership with AARP. [Available via attached PDF or online at:

Contact Us

Matthew Kaplan, Ph.D.
  • Professor, Intergenerational Programs and Aging

Contact Us

Matthew Kaplan, Ph.D.
  • Professor, Intergenerational Programs and Aging