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Design for Life: Community Planning and Practice

Join us on Friday, Dec. 13, 8–10:30 a.m., for an informative workshop that explores the cities and counties' roles in designing housing and neighborhoods with enhanced accommodating community design features. This workshop will include an overview of universal design applied to the built environment and options for elected officials and planners to advance an age-friendly agenda.

The rapidly growing population of older adults highlights a need for housing and communities that support everyday activities while accommodating changing abilities. A city or county’s capacity to meet the evolving needs of aging populations is critical to ensuring that older adults remain healthy and independent, yet strongly connected to their communities.

As elected officials, city administrators and planners visualize the future, they need to understand that Gen X, Millennial and other cohorts are aging right behind the baby boomers. The "new normal" will include a higher percentage of older adults who will have their own ideas about home and community. How will this impact future planning and design decisions related to housing, mobility, outdoor spaces and other areas that will transform the way residents live and age at home?

Workshop attendees will learn about:

  • Universal design in housing – marketability and functionality.
  • Costs of universal housing vs. traditional development costs.
  • Aging in place vs. aging in community.
  • Universal Design vs. ADA – applied to public rights of way and public spaces.
  • How applying universal design standards enhances transportation and mobility.
  • Benefits of universal design to a city or county.
  • How cities and counties can encourage the incorporation of universal design into development.
  • How Raymore, Missouri, developed a universal design pilot project with a local developer.

Please forward this email to others with an interest in the topic.

Register now

Workshop presenters:

Richard Duncan, MRP, Executive Director, RL Mace Universal Design Institute, has spent over 35 years in the field of architectural and product accessibility and universal design in residential, public and transportation environments. He has extensive experience in the design, costs, materials, and products in residential and non-residential settings. Seminars, courses, workshops and speaking engagements have taken him across North America, to Europe and Asia. Before heading the RL Mace Universal Design Institute and its sister organization the Better Living Design Institute, Duncan spent 24 years working in two of the nation’s preeminent organizations in the field, the Adaptive Environments Center (now the Institute for Human Centered Design) in Boston and The Center for Universal Design in North Carolina. He is a graduate of Tufts University and the planning program at the Department of City and Regional Planning at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

David Gress is a graduate of the University of Missouri–Kansas City's Urban Planning and Design program. Prior to graduation, Gress was involved in a variety of projects, ranging from neighborhood and community development, urban design and transportation planning, including working as an intern for Kansas City, Missouri, and the Mid-America Regional Council. He has spent the past three years working for Raymore, Missouri, as the associate City Planner, and most recently, the Economic Development Director, where he focuses on community and economic development, and improving the community for the enjoyment of all of its residents.

About the Professional Network

The Communities for All Ages Professional Network supports elected officials and city staff in assessing the age-friendliness of their jurisdictions, provides concrete ideas for discussion and planning, and serves as a forum for city and county staff to share best practices.

The Professional Network continues the work of the First Suburbs Coalition and KC Communities for All Ages during the past five years as part of Community AGEnda, an initiative to help cities prepare for changing demographic trends.

Design for Life:
Community Planning
and Practice

Friday, Dec. 13, 2019
8 a.m. Networking and Continental Breakfast
8:30–10:30 a.m. Workshop

Mid-America Regional Council
Board Room
600 Broadway, Suite 200
Kansas City, Missouri

Register now

Registration deadline
Noon, Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2019

While this event is free, space is limited, so registration is required.

AICP credits: CM | 1.5

Event questions: Cathy
Boyer-Shesol at 816-701-8246 or or Patrick Trouba at 816-701-8248 or

Registration questions:
Carmellya Anderson,,

The Professional Network is supported through grants from
WJ Brace Charitable Trust, Bank of America, N.A.,Trustee; Truman Heartland Community Foundation; MARC's Department of Aging and Adult Services; and funds from U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT), administered by the Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT) and the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT).