In September, Kingsport was named one of only 121 communities in the AARP Network of Age-Friendly Communities in the US. To receive this recognition, Kingsport had to demonstrate its adaptability to an aging US population. Features such as walkable streets, better housing and transportation and the opportunity for residents to participate in community activities are just a few examples of why Kingsport is a great place for aging residents.
Being a member of the Network of Age-Friendly Communities means Kingsport’s elected leadership has made the commitment to work toward making their community a great place for people of all ages.
“I am proud that Kingsport is the first city in Tennessee to become a part of the Network of Age Friendly Communities,” said National Volunteer Director of AARP Margot Seay. “It shows our great community spirit and will support the initiatives of ONEKingsport.”
According to AARP, the Network of Age-Friendly Communities encourages states, cities, towns and rural areas to prepare for the rapid aging of the U.S. population by paying increased attention to the environmental, economic and social factors that influence the health and well-being of older adults.
“Our livable community continues to create and promote a healthy environment and sustain economic growth to help people of all ages become happier residents,” said Lara Potter, the associate director of Kingsport Convention & Visitors Bureau.
Move to Kingsport has revived the idea of becoming an age-friendly community and has taken the initiative to better Kingsport, not just for the aging population, but for all residents.
In 2009, AARP conducted a Livability Community Survey in Kingsport. With help from Dr. Kathleen Beine, longtime advocate, the survey was a huge success with a 43.6 percent response rate. The overall results from the data showed the median lengthy of residency in Kingsport is 43 years and nearly half of the respondents have lived here over 35 years. Residents felt satisfied with their communities and think Kingsport is a good place for older to adults to live.
For more information on the AARP Network of Age-Friendly Communities, please visit www.aarp.com.