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Building an Age-Friendly Community in College Park

On March 14, 2022, M-NCPPC and the University of Baltimore Jacob France Institute/Artemel & Associates consultant team, with the assistance of the City staff, conducted a virtual community meeting. The purpose of the meeting was two-fold: to inform College Park community members of the project’s status, and most importantly, to gather input vital to developing the AARP Age-Friendly Action Plan.

The plan sets goals in the areas of housing, transportation, communication, social participation, and health services.

Priority housing goals identified by the community include (a) Additional affordable and “missing middle” housing, (b) Provision of multifamily housing with communal spaces and amenities, perhaps combined with a student housing component, (c) Cutting housing costs for seniors; and (d) Assistance to seniors for home renovation and/or maintenance projects.

The priority transportation goals include: (a) Availability of safe, multimodal options, including sidewalks and bicycle trails, (b) Enhanced on-demand senior transportation, (c) Additional bus and UMD shuttle opportunities; and (d) Fulfilling the need for “last mile” transportation into residential neighborhoods.

The priority goals identified for communications and information are (a) Availability of publications in print format (b) Robocalls to residents for urgent information (c) Monthly city government outreach to residents via a hybrid Town Hall, and (d) Providing all information in Spanish as well as English.

With community input, priority goals for social participation are (a) Neighborhood events where residents can connect, (b) Partnering on events with nonprofit organizations (c) Access to a clearinghouse for continuing education and volunteering opportunities; and (d) A new, drop-in community center.

The priority health and community support goals were identified as (a) Addressing senior isolation through individual contacts and networking events, (b) Providing more services to more residents at more income levels, (c) Establishing a community meals program; and (d) Recreational opportunities at UMD and a new community center. After receiving input from the City Council, the consultant will finalize the Action Plan, and prepare a final presentation and infographic

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