Think LA's rising housing prices and much-maligned traffic are bad now? Wait until you're older. The AARP, an organization devoted to looking out for the over-50 crowd, has created an interactive map—a "livability index"—that attempts to synthesize all the things that matter to older adults into a number between 1 and 100. First seen on CityLab, the map uses addresses and zip codes to give an idea of how hospitable a neighborhood is going to be for its older people. A quick search of the index shows LA's overall score to be an underwhelming 47.
Categories under consideration on the index include housing, transportation, environment, health, and civic engagement, as well as some broader categories like "opportunity" (which considers the area's diversity and local high school graduation rates) and "neighborhood" (which loops in distance to emergency services, as well as libraries, parks, and transit). The thing is, though, that those things matter to everyone, not just people on the other side of 50. "When you plan for older adults, you plan for everyone," says a senior policy adviser at AARP's Public Policy Institute.
LA's low score and the even lower scores of some of its neighborhoods aren't the full picture. The index's categories are adjustable, so if a person doesn't care about the voting stats of their golden-years neighborhood, or how many museums and libraries are in it, they can toggle those categories way down, and that might make for a rosier picture. But it is pretty sobering that with all the categories at their presets, LA's not even at a middling score of 50. There's better news for some neighborhoods, and we've snapped a few across LA to show how they compare to the city as a whole:
· How Livable Will Your Neighborhood Be as You Age? [CityLab]
· AARP Livability Index [AARP]
· Los Angeles Housing Prices Have Shot Up More Than Any Other US City's Since 2000 [Curbed LA]
· The Worst Day to Drive in LA is Either Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday [Curbed LA]