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The DOJ delivers the Comey memos to Congress. Also on our rundown: More evidence that rent prices are out of reach in many markets; Wisconsin counties brace for sulfide mining; and the Earth Day focus this weekend in North Dakota is on recycling.

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New Web Tool Calculates Community "Livability" Score

A new AARP website scores livability using more than 60 factors, including safe streets and walkability. (Pixabay)
A new AARP website scores livability using more than 60 factors, including safe streets and walkability. (Pixabay)
March 16, 2018

SALT LAKE CITY – How livable is your community compared with others? How well does your community meet your needs, regardless of age or income? These are some of the questions answered by AARP's new website that lets you type in your address and ZIP code and find out just how livable your community is.

Laura Polacheck, communications director with AARP Utah, says the new livability index crunches a lot of data to paint a comprehensive picture of what communities have to offer.

"How well their neighborhood stacks up based on housing, transportation, the environment. They can see the areas that they're doing very well in, and they can see opportunities for improvement," she says.

Polacheck says she hopes residents and policy makers alike will have "aha" moments after using the index, when they notice areas where communities excel and others that could use a boost. The site can be found at www.aarp.org/livabilityindex, and when you enter your location, the site will immediately give you an overall livability score, as well as individual scores for several factors that go into making your community livable.

Polacheck notes that for seniors concerned about their health, the index can show how close neighborhoods are to clinics and hospitals, and other factors such as air quality.

She says no less than 60 separate measures were examined to come up with a community's overall score. Twenty of the 60 examined various community policies, including smoking in public.

"But they also look at things like safe streets, and then also walkability,” she says. “Because it's really wonderful for people to know they can walk to things in their own neighborhood and not have to rely on driving or public transportation."

Polacheck adds that with AARP surveys continuing to show that older adults overwhelmingly desire to age in their homes and communities, the livability index can be a great tool to guide public policy.

Eric Galatas, Public News Service - UT