“We tip our hats to those who launched this work 20 years ago in San Diego County, showing what’s possible when local governments apply Gen2Gen approaches to early care and education, workforce development, civic engagement, health and wellness. Today we’re proud to be among a growing group of cities and counties whose efforts to leverage the assets of older generations are featured in this indispensable guide.”
-Sam Liccardo. Mayor of San Jose, California (A Gen2Gen City)
“We hope that #Gen2Gen Cities will help city and county leaders…create cost-effective, creative solutions to local challenges, while addressing the deep need in all of our communities to build meaningful relationships, bridge historic divides, and combat a national epidemic of loneliness and isolation.”
“By leveraging the assets of residents of all ages and connecting the generations, these leaders are helping to build stronger ties, foster greater empathy, make better use of public spaces, increase volunteerism and save money, all while improving outcomes for residents of all ages.”
Gen2Gen Cities work to create more senior friendly cities by adopting an intergenerational approach to urban planning with the aim of strengthening and connecting communities.
Suggestions from Gen2Gen Cities on how to make more intergenerational and senior friendly communities include:
- Build Community with Intergenerational Events - planning activities and events that include and take input from all generations can help build relationships, a stronger sense of community and a better understanding across generations reducing isolation for all ages.
- Increase Volunteerism in Older Adults - older adults may be looking for ways to connect and contribute to their community and can offer years of experience resulting in more engaged citizens. Intergenerational teams of both older and younger generations can provide more creative contributions.
- Activate Public Spaces with Intergenerational Programming - at libraries, community centers and parks where generations can mix together. Connecting at public spaces can decrease social isolation and increase a sense of purpose for older adults as well as younger adults.
- Advance Early Care and Education by Engaging Older Adults - a multigeneration approach to early care and education by including grandparents and older caregivers encourages generations to work together which can improve physical and mental health, social connectedness and purpose.
- Improve Outcomes for Youth and Older Adults through Mentoring - experienced older adults can provide the knowledge and interpersonal skills to help youth build meaningful relationships, set goals, advocate for themselves, expand social networks and develop self-confidence.
- Increase Affordable Housing by Expanding Intergenerational Housing Options - intergenerational home sharing and housing options with many generations living together may reduce housing costs for both the young and old, the need for older adults to live in senior care facilities, and social isolation.
- Advocate for Shared Sites – such as daycare or elementary schools
located within older adult care facilities or residential communities and senior housing located
in libraries and universities. Shared can sites benefit both generations and reduce costs by
sharing resources and overhead.