Dakota County government helps local efforts to address aging population

City profiles highlight key components of an age-friendly community

The population is aging. This is true across the nation and in most communities in Minnesota.

Dakota County leaders say that cities need to reflect this changing demographic landscape to help people stay safe, healthy, and living independently in their communities.

For that reason, Dakota County’s Communities for a Lifetime Initiative has completed profiles for the 11 major cities in Dakota County.

The profiles highlight key components of an age-friendly community. The goal is to increase awareness of future demographic changes and their implications, and to provide a menu of options for how communities can respond to the changes based on their strengths and gaps.     The initiative’s manager, Jess Luce, worked with city managers and planners to finalize the profiles. Feedback and suggested changes from city and county staff were incorporated, along with current research and relevant data to customize profiles for each city.

Each profile includes a city’s changing population data, housing performance score, types of housing, transit options, land use, walkability score, and other indicators, including indicators from AARP’s Livability Index. Age-friendly policies are also highlighted.

City profiles will be a resource and a strategic planning tool to help communities measure their progress in becoming more age-friendly as they undertake a comprehensive planning process through 2018, according to Luce.

The Communities for a Lifetime Initiative aims to engage communities in active planning, sharing best practice models, and by partnering on age-friendly projects.

Residents can view all of the profiles by searching City Profiles Project at www.co.dakota.mn.us.

For more information on the Dakota County Communities for a Lifetime City Profiles Project, or to schedule an overview presentation on a particular city’s profile, contact Luce at [email protected] or 651-554-6130.