For years, leading thinkers and organizations have been trying to convince others that the aging of America isn’t so much a problem to be solved as it is an opportunity to be seized.
Today, Encore.org released #Gen2Gen Cities, a guide that showcases city and county leaders across the country who agree. These public sector innovators engage their aging populations in intergenerational strategies that help meet critical challenges—affordable housing, nonprofit capacity, kindergarten readiness, and much more—by bringing generations together.
Here are a few examples:
By leveraging the assets of residents of all ages and connecting the generations, these leaders are helping to build stronger ties, foster greater empathy, make better use of public spaces, increase volunteerism and save money, all while improving outcomes for residents of all ages.
That’s innovation, Gen2Gen style!
San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo is a leading supporter of intergenerational strategies, the force behind Gen2Gen San Jose, and the author of the report’s foreword.
“We live in an incredibly wealthy community called Silicon Valley, but within that prosperity is real poverty, financial and otherwise,” Liccardo writes. “We don’t have all the financial resources we need to solve these problems—no city does. But we are rich in human resources. Through Gen2Gen San Jose, we’re tapping our older neighbors’ time and talent to support preschoolers in family resource centers, to coach teens through first jobs, to help young adults take their first steps toward careers, even to make our city government work better.”
#Gen2Gen Cities provides readers with details about intergenerational innovations taking place in 17 cities and counties, tips from the public servants who got the ball rolling, and recommendations for those eager to try intergenerational strategies in their own communities.
The ultimate goal: to help city and county leaders create cost-effective, creative solutions to local challenges, while addressing the deep need in all of our communities to build meaningful relationships, bridge historic divides, and combat a national epidemic of loneliness and isolation.