In the past two weeks, BUILDER has broken down results of AARP's Age-Friendly Community Survey, including boomers' preference to stay in their current home while aging (although they would consider a move to a home that features universal design concepts), and what home modifications are most necessary for aging in their current home to be possible.
Accessibility tops boomers' list for home features, but a different portion of AARP's report shows that preference extends to the community they live in as well. By integrating the highly-rated outdoor features in the development of future communities, builders and developers could strategically sway boomers' decision to move from their current home in retirement.
By rating the importance of certain outdoor community features versus the degree to which their communities incorporate them, boomers across all surveyed markets have revealed a need gap for a handful of features in their communities (average % of respondents rating a feature "important," minus the average % of respondents living in a community that already incorporates that feature).
Across all markets, the majority of respondents would like "separate pathways for bicyclists and pedestrians," and "well-maintained public restrooms that are accessible to people with different physical abilities," but have no access to those features in their current community.
The importance and current presence of each feature varies by market. In Philadelphia, the biggest need is for accessible, well-maintained public restrooms, which are important to 94% respondents but available to only 17%. In Brownsville, Texas, boomers value Neighborhood Watch programs (94%), but only 22% of respondents live in a community that currently has a program in place.
You can see importance and current community presence ratings for the top three needed outdoor community features in all 14 markets below: