Age-friendly or livable communities have features such as walkable streets, housing and transportation options, access to key services and opportunities for residents to participate in community activities. The City of Bangor is Maine’s 100th member in The AARP Age-Friendly Communities Network.
The Bangor Livable Community Steering Committee is working to ensure Bangor is an active place where residents of all ages can live, work and play. The committee meets the First Friday of each month from 11:00-12:30 at the Bangor Public Library, Crofutt Room. These meetings are open to the public and all are invited to attend.
Data Collection Efforts
In 2015, 448 Bangor residents ages 50 and older participated in the AARP’s Livable Communities Survey. Findings showed that Bangor residents age 50-plus have deep roots in their community. More than half (57%) have lived in their community for over 25 years. Most do not plan to move, and nine in ten (90%) say their community is a good place for older people to live.
While Bangor residents age 50-plus see the beauty and value in their community, there is room for improvement to make it the most livable community possible. Based on the World Health Organization’s eight domains of livable community, important community features as well as perceived community needs were identified. To learn more, download the full report.
The following year, The Livable Age-Friendly Committee contracted with the UMaine Center on Aging to help us learn more about the challenges and opportunities that exist as we move forward as a livable age-friendly community. We received funding from an AARP grant that was funded by the Maine Community foundation to enable cities to get started in doing this work.
The UMaine Center on Aging held seven community discussions in the Bangor area during the fall of 2016 to gather data about the strengths and areas for improvement of the city. Citizens were encouraged to share their opinions about aspects of the city that need improvement, as well as areas that are either meeting or exceeding expectations.
Participants also contributed ideas about what the city could do to become more age friendly. To learn more, download the summary report.
The UMaine Center on Aging also distributed an online survey to Bangor Region Chamber of Commerce business owners to understand employment and customer service practices involving older adults, perceptions of the accessibility of Bangor commercial districts, and recommendations for improving Bangor as a livable and age-friendly community. To learn more, download the draft report.
Next Steps for the Committee
The committee’s next step is to work on the approved three year plan based on the information we discovered from the AARP survey, our focus groups as well as our chamber of commerce survey. Our plan was submitted and approved by AARP in June of 2018.
The plan includes short, intermediate and long term projects. You can find The Queen City: Bangor, ME Livable Communities Action Plan here.
More Information on The AARP Network of Age-Friendly Communities.
The 8 Domains of Livability
The World Health Organization’s Global Network of Age-Friendly Cities and Communities has identified eight domains of livability that influence the quality of life of older adults.
The domains are also used as a framework and starting point by the U.S.-based towns, cities and counties that belong to the AARP Network of Age-Friendly Communities.
Domain 1: Outdoor Spaces and Buildings
Domain 2: Transportation
Domain 3: Housing
Domain 4: Social Participation
Domain 5: Respect and Social Inclusion
Domain 6: Civic Participation and Employment
Domain 7: Communication and Information
Domain 8: Community and Health Services
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