Walkable Neighborhoods for All Ages

Dave Beal
July 7, 2023 / 3 mins read

As we announced earlier, Age Friendly Olmsted County at Family Service Rochester was recently awarded an AARP Community Challenge grant to conduct a walk audit in the Slatterly Park neighborhood. The grant is also supported by an AARP partnership with America Walks. Our partners include, City of Rochester Community Development and Public Works departments, RNeighbors, the Slatterly Park Neighborhood Association, and AARP Minnesota.

As a grantee, we were asked to provide America Walks with a vision for our project along with our long and short term goals. We thought we would share them with you.


Our vision is to support a vibrant and inclusive age friendly neighborhood that prioritizes the needs and safety of pedestrians. We aim to assess and enhance the walkability of our community, ensure equitable access to essential amenities, foster social connections, promote active and healthy lifestyles, and create a sense of place and pride for all residents.

By identifying and addressing pedestrian infrastructure gaps, improving street design, enhancing safety measures, and promoting community engagement, we envision a neighborhood where walking is a safe, enjoyable, and convenient mode of transportation for people of all ages and abilities.

Together, we envision pedestrian-friendly neighborhoods for all ages that encourage sustainable, connected, and thriving environments for everyone to live, work, and play.


  1. Improve Pedestrian Safety: By implementing necessary infrastructure improvements and safety measures, the goal is to ensure a safer environment for pedestrians, reducing the risk of accidents and promoting a culture of walking.
  1. Enhance Walkability and Accessibility: By supporting a pedestrian-friendly environment, the goal is to encourage more people to walk - improving physical and mental health, reducing traffic congestion, and enhancing the neighborhood's livability.
  1. Promote Community Engagement and Collaboration: By conducting a walking audit that can be replicated in other neighborhoods, the goal is to empower the community to take an active role in shaping their neighborhood's pedestrian infrastructure fostering a sense of ownership and pride, leading to sustained efforts in maintaining and improving walkability over time.
  1. Age Friendly Infrastructure: The goal is to provide an environment that promotes safe and comfortable walking for people of all ages, especially older adults and children, ensuring their active participation and engagement in the community.
  1. Intergenerational Connectivity: This goal includes designing walkways and public spaces that encourage socializing, organizing community walking events that bring people of all ages together, and incorporating elements that appeal to the diverse needs and interests of different generations.


  1. Identify Safety Concerns: By documenting these concerns, the goal is to prioritize and address them promptly, ensuring the immediate safety of pedestrians in the neighborhood.
  1. Identify assets. By documenting these positive aspects of the neighborhood pedestrian infrastructure, amenities, and features that enhance the walking experience, the goal is to highlight strengths and display the neighborhood characteristics that promote walking and community engagement.
  1. Engage Community Participation: By involving residents, local organizations, and stakeholders, the goal is to foster a sense of ownership and collective responsibility for improving walkability in the neighborhood.
  1. Create Awareness and Advocacy: By sharing the findings and recommendations of the walk audit with relevant stakeholders, such as city officials, community development departments, or local advocacy groups, the goal is to raise awareness about the importance of walkability and advocate for necessary improvements.

Our walk audit is scheduled for Saturday, September 9, 2023.

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