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Aging in place can simply be defined as staying in your home as you age; aging in place concerns include mobility, social activities, safety, accessibility, and long term supports and services in one’s neighborhood and society. In order to facilitate aging in place, organizations in Salt Lake County, Utah and the City of Portland, Oregon, provided home modifications to income-qualified older adults that intended to enable aging in place. Such modifications alter individuals’ life-space mobility – a concept recently used by gerontologists and that we introduced to planners – from within one’s home to the broader community. A unique methodological approach taken by researchers merged several existing data collection instruments with additional interview questions of residents who recently received home modifications.

The final report is available here:


Alan DeLaTorre is a research associate at Portland State University’s Institute on Aging where he coordinates PSU’s Senior Adult Learning Center and Age-Friendly Portland and Multnomah County initiative. Dr. DeLaTorre serves as the chair of the Age-friendly Design committee for the Academy for Gerontology in Higher Education, as a board member for the Oregon Gerontological Association, and on several local communities in an effort to shape community livability and accessibility. He is passionate about utilizing research to inform and advance community planning and livability.

Ivis Garcia Zambrana is an Assistant Professor in City and Metropolitan Planning (CMP). At CMP she works in close collaboration with the University Neighborhood Partners (UNP) and she is also affiliated with the Metropolitan Research Center (MRC). Her philosophy, methodology, and ethos revolves around conducting research and plans in partnership with stakeholders, being from the grassroots or from institutionalized forms of government. Dr. Garcia is an urban planner with research interests in the areas of community development, housing, and engagement. She has spent time as a community organizer and planner in Albuquerque, New Mexico, San Francisco, California, Springfield, Missouri, Washington, D.C. and Chicago.

Ja Young Kim is a doctoral student in the Department of City and Metropolitan Planning at the University of Utah. She holds a Bachelor of Architecture from Hanyang University, Seoul, Korea and a Master of City Planning from the University of California, Berkeley. Kim is interested in the issue of race, place, and environmental equity set in the frame of the built environment and urban form. Building upon her previous research on the potential of urban design to improve walkability in relation to the needs of an aging urban population, in Oakland Chinatown, her research aims to better understand the impact of the built environment on the well-being of older populations and assess diverse public needs on the issues to develop feasible planning interventions. Before joining the MRC, she worked as an architect, urban designer and planner in Berkeley and San Francisco, and more recently as a researcher for the Seoul Institute developing policies for energy efficient buildings and towns in Seoul, Korea.


Aging population, Older people -- Services for, Older people -- Transportation


Gerontology | Urban Studies and Planning

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Webinar: Aging in Place: Improving Mobility for Older Adults