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Study Names California's Most Livable Cities

PHOTO: The May issue of AARP Bulletin uses the Livability Index to identify the most livable places in the country for people age 50 plus. Eighteen California cities received high marks in the study, with San Francisco's South of Market named as one of the 10 Most Livable Neighborhoods in the country. Photo courtesy: AARP.
PHOTO: The May issue of AARP Bulletin uses the Livability Index to identify the most livable places in the country for people age 50 plus. Eighteen California cities received high marks in the study, with San Francisco's South of Market named as one of the 10 Most Livable Neighborhoods in the country. Photo courtesy: AARP.
May 5, 2015

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - A new online tool is giving Californians a chance to take a closer look at their neighborhoods. Christina Clem, adviser State Operations with AARP California, says people can use the Livability Index to determine how well their communities are meeting their current and future needs. She says eighteen California cities got high marks.

"A lot of them have to do with our healthy lifestyle, whether this is access to outdoor activities or whether it's a community that might have highly regarded health care from local hospitals," she says.

The index ranks communities on seven categories, including housing, transportation, the environment and job opportunities. The study named San Francisco's South of Market as one of the 10 Most Livable Neighborhoods in the country.

AARP defines a livable community as a place where people can get to where they want to go, living comfortably and in good health, and being able to remain active and engaged. Clem says these things are useful for people of all ages, not just Americans 50 plus.

"We hope this will end up driving conversations within the community," says Clem. "To make communities livable for all ages because something that is good for an older adult works for people of every age."

Clem says this first-of-its-kind study found many cities aren't prepared for an aging population.

"So this is one of the steps we're taking to not only give people a snapshot of what their community is, but also to link them to policies and resources if they would like to take the next step and get involved in their community to make it move livable for them and for the future," she says.

The Livability Index is featured in the May issue of the AARP Bulletin.

Lori Abbott, Public News Service - CA