Dartmouth’s Main Street District (the “Village on Main”) has released its Age Friendly Community Plan. This is the first AFC Plan to be adopted in Halifax Regional Municipality. The following observations are made:
- The issues with an aging population are the same be it a rural community, town, or urban community. These include (1) the Built Environment (2) Transportation (3) Housing (4) Social Connectivity (5) Health and Community Support (6) Silver Economy.
- It is important to include a range of stakeholders in the planning process. In Main Street, local churches, health and mental health professionals, Dartmouth General Hospital, a seniors group and 3 levels of government were represented.
- The process of age friendly community planning, and the implementation of an AFC Plan once adopted, needs to be community driven. When a range of stakeholders are brought together, then community-based solutions are usually found (i.e. there are few ‘asks’ of government).
- A municipality or community-based group, like the Main Street Community Improvement District, needs to steer implementation of the Plan, assisted by the creation of an “Age Friendly Action Team”.