Roughly 12,000 Baby Boomers are hitting retirement age every day in the United States. America as a whole is aging, and Huntsville is no exception. As life expectancy improves, the percentage of our population 65 and over will continue to increase. In 1990, one out of every ten people in Huntsville were over the age of 65. By the year 2030, it will be one in six.
With this “graying of America,” how do cities respond to the demands of an aging population? How can we as a community help provide safe and reliable transportation? How can we help mobility-challenged individuals access the services they require? How can we make it easier for people to live independently? How can we ensure a great quality of life for our seniors?
Thanks to everyone who came out for the Aging in Place Citizens Academy, which was held on February 18, 2015. The guest speaker was Whit Blanton, FAICP.
Whit is vice president and a founding principal of Renaissance Planning, a consulting firm based in Orlando, FL focusing on the integration of land use and transportation. He has 25 years of experience in multimodal transportation planning, policy and community design for more walkable and livable communities. His experience spans a wide range of projects at the federal, state, regional and local levels. He studied urban and regional planning at Florida State University and journalism at the University of Florida.
Whit serves in the leadership of the American Planning Association, elected in 2012 from the states in Region III (Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas) to a four-year term on APA’s Board of Directors. He is the chair of APA’s Legislative & Policy Committee, and led adoption of APA’s Policy Guide on Aging in Community in 2014. Whit received the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) President’s Award for Exceptional Practice in 2011, and was subsequently inducted into the AICP College of Fellows in recognition of his professional practice contributions over his career. He is a native of Kings Mountain, NC and resides in Winter Park, FL.