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Social Media, Livability and More (including the #APA13 preview)

Hello All - As I write this, has had over 6500 visitors to my essays and other posts, and I thank each and every one of you for stopping by. Those of you who are regulars may have noticed that I haven't been writing as many essays in recent months. You may think it's because of my busy spring travel schedule, but that's only part of the story:  Today, as I head to Chicago for the American Planning Association Conference (aka #APA13), I have a few announcements to share that will explain why I've been so busy. (By the way, I hope that you are still stopping by regularly to check up on what I've been doing on facebook, twitter, pinterest and LinkedIn)

 First, the recent news.  Our team at AARP's Public Policy Institute (PPI) has become very active on twitter in 2013, and earlier this week, we have launched our facebook page.  Follow and like us, and send me any suggestions that you may have for content.

Now, the "new" news:  Here at #APA13, Jana Lynott and I will be sharing the first public glimpses of a major project that we've been working on since around the time that DrUrbanPolicy was founded: designing a way to measure  livability for an aging America - our goal is to measure the livability of every community nationwide, including the ability of older adults to age there. The AARP PPI Livable communities team (which also includes Shannon Guzman) along with our colleague from another part of AARP, Dr. Cheryl L. Lampkin, have been working on this for a while now: conducting focus groups, fielding a major national survey, meeting with issue experts and reading everything under the sun regarding livability. We think that we have a method lined up to create an index that could satisfy all of us (no easy task) and I look forward to sharing details in the coming weeks and months. (If your organization is interested in potentially being involved, let me know).  I don't want to share too much before the presentation, but if you are attending  #APA13, you can find our session details below - come and see what I'm talking about. 

In other "new" news, big things have been happening for the APA Planning and the Black Community Division (PBCD): we are proud to announce our 2013 scholarship winner and our other 2013 Catlin/Long Scholars at the Division business meeting on Sunday.  One of my duties is running the scholarship program for the Division, and I was happy to see so many great candidates this year - in fact, there were so many talented candidates that we created an entire class of scholars that we will follow and root for as they finish their graduate studies and begin their careers changing communities nationwide. (I don't want to step on our announcement and share the names yet, but members can see the preview and find out about other division events at the conference in the Division's Conference edition newsletter. )

Finally, the last "new" news item is the PBCD twitter account, @PBCDiv. It's been launched just in time for the conference, and you should follow it for PBCD news and updates.  (It seems that I was on to something when I wrote "Social Media: it's time to pay attention and yes, learn one more thing" in November - all of my organizations are getting on board and I'm creating a lot of content these days.)

Look for more posts from me in the coming weeks on these topics (and more).

Featured events for #APA13 Attendees -
  • I'll be speaking about the index project and discussing "livability" for America's diverse communities at S460: Community Livability and Diversity on Sunday at 1:00 p.m.
  • AARP/PBCD colleague Aldea Douglas will be in S807: a Facilitated Discussion on Age Friendly Communities on Monday at 9:00 a.m. 
  • Jana will be speaking at S578: Age Friendly Communities: Part One on Monday at 4:00 p.m
  • Jana and I will also will also be speaking at other events - check the conference program for more.

As you can tell, I've been busy (and so has my Hootsuite account): if you've waited too long for a new post here, check out the organizational accounts that I'm involved in: @AARPpolicy,, and @PBCDiv.  As before, I'm still posting regularly @DrUrbanPolicy, on, on pinterest, Google Plus and my top 5% most visited LinkedIn account. Leave me a comment at any of those places.


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