Protecting the Health of Older Americans
Fact Sheet

     Building  Healthy Communities for Active Aging Award

What is the National Recognition Program for Communities that Combine
Smart Growth and Active Aging? The principal goal of the Building Healthy
Communities for Active Aging Award program is to raise awareness across the nation about
healthy synergies that can be achieved by communities combining Smart Growth and Active
Aging concepts.

Awards will be presented to communities that demonstrate the best and most inclusive overall
approach to implementing smart growth and active aging at the neighborhood, tribe,
municipality, county, and/or regional levels.

Two types of awards will be made—the Commitment Award and the Achievement Award. The
Commitment Award recognizes communities that have developed and begun to initiate a specific
plan to implement smart growth and active aging principles. The Achievement Award will be
given for overall excellence in building healthy communities for active aging.

Winners will be announced at the 7th Annual New Partners for Smart Growth: Building Safe,
Healthy and Livable Communities Conference in Washington, D.C., February 2008.

Who can apply for an award? Applicants must be public-sector entities in the United
States and coordinate with their local Area Agency on Aging. Public-sector entities include all
levels of elected governments, from city councils to state legislatures and their subdivisions such
as planning departments and other executive branch divisions. Applications are due September 12, 2008.
Application, award guidelines and entry rules can be found at:

Are Other Organizations Involved? The U.S. EPA's Aging Initiative is spearheading
this multi-agency effort developed in partnership with:
   •  The President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports
   •  The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention
   •  The National Council on Aging's Center for Healthy Aging
   •  The National Blueprint Office
   •  Active for Life

Additionally, the Robert Woods Johnson Foundation, through its Active for Life program, is
supporting a Healthy Communities for Active Aging Learning Network for participating
communities and tribes, and the National Blueprint and the CDC Healthy Aging Research
Network is providing technical assistance.

What is Smart Growth?  Smart Growth is characterized by development patterns that
create attractive, distinctive, walkable communities that give people of varying age, wealth, and
physical ability a range of safe, affordable, convenient choices in where they live and how they
get around.  Growing smart also ensures that existing resources  are used efficiently and that
lands and buildings that shape communities are preserved.

Communities across the country are using creative strategies to  develop in ways that preserve
natural lands and critical environmental areas, protect water and air quality and reuse previously
developed land. They  conserve resources by reinvesting in existing infrastructure and reclaiming
historic buildings. By  designing neighborhoods to contain homes, shops, offices, parks, and
other amenities, these communities are giving their residents and visitors the option of walking,
bicycling, taking  public transportation, or driving as they go about their business.

A range of different types of homes makes it possible for aging  Americans to stay in their homes
as they age, young people to afford their first homes and families, at all stages in between, to find
a safe and attractive home they can afford. Through smart growth approaches that enhance
neighborhoods and involve local citizens in development decisions, these communities are
creating vibrant places to live, work, and play. The high quality of life in these communities
makes them  economically competitive, creates business opportunities, and  improves the local tax
base. For more information see:

What is Active Aging? Active Aging takes place when older adults regularly participate in
a variety of structured and unstructured physical  activities. Communities can promote Active
Aging by implementing a diverse array of accessible physical-activity programs, and helping to
make more accessible self-directed physical-activity opportunities for those 60-plus. All of these
opportunities should emphasize activities that increase endurance, strength, flexibility, and
balance, while adhering to the principles of injury prevention. Self-directed activities include
walking, biking, fitness trails and similar activities that are appropriate for participants at various
levels of fitness and functional ability. For more information on Active Aging, please visit the
websites of the Active  for Life Program at National Council on
Aging's Center for Healthy Aging at: and the National
Blueprint at

Help Shape the Future for
Communities and Older Adults

                 For more information on the EPA Aging  Initiative: