Committed To Becoming More Age-Friendly
Dallas United States of America
With 1.2 million residents occupying 340 square miles of land, Dallas is the largest city in the Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington metropolitan area — and the third most populous city in Texas after Houston and San Antonio. A business haven, Dallas is home to numerous Fortune 500 companies and corporate headquarters.
Approximately 25 percent of the city’s residents are now age 50 or older.
While Dallas is making efforts to become more walkable and bike-friendly, and it does have many downtown neighborhoods that are accommodating to pedestrians and bike riders, the area’s primary mode of transportation is the car, especially in areas beyond the reach of city buses and light rail.
The sprawling city is governed by a city manager and 14 council members representing the city’s 14 council districts. There is a Senior Affairs Commission that is comprised of 15 senior citizens who have been appointed by the city councilmen and the Mayor. Prior to joining the AARP Network of Age-Friendly Communities in August 2014, Dallas’s local government and community organizations had already established:
• The Senior Services Program, which helps people 60 and older and caregivers of older adults access city and community services
• A Minor Home Repair Program
• The volunteer-run Dallas Ramps Project, which was founded in 1985 and provides free wheelchair ramps for people with disabilities and older adults age 60-plus
• Parkland Hospital’s Injury Prevention Center which works on issues of bicycle and pedestrian safety
• MY RIDE Dallas a service dedicated to helping older adults and people with disabilities find and connect to transportation options.
• The Senior Source (dubbed “The best thing about aging in Dallas since 1961”), a nonprofit organization that connects older adults “to resources, to opportunities, to independence.”
Plans are underway to establish a coordinated team of community partners, where major agencies in the city will be represented, to address gaps in the 8 domains of livability.