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Story highlights Lake Oswego

Lake Oswego is highlighted in the National League of Cities' most recent edition of 'Nation's Cities Weekly.'

'With one in every eight Americans age 65 or older, cities are struggling to meet new challenges of land use, housing, public transportation and other facets of everyday life,' said Amanda Straub of the National League of Cities. 'Lake Oswego's efforts, as well as those of other cities throughout the country, are highlighted in … 'Nation's Cities Weekly.''

She noted that Lake Oswego's 50+ Community Dialogues encouraged senior citizens to identify issues and suggest ideas, thus forming the 50+ Advisory Board.

The article by Andrew Scharlach is called 'Cities Work to Create Aging-Friendly Communities.'

Scharlach writes that 'many cities are not prepared for this 'silver tsunami.' Indeed, most Americans live in houses, neighborhoods and communities that are ill-suited for aging bodies and minds. Land-use policies and zoning regulations isolate older adults from the services they need, and increase reliance on automobiles to accomplish virtually any task - whether to buy groceries, see a doctor or visit a friend. 'Big-box' stores and giant malls require a substantial amount of walking and negotiating passageways not designed for an older body moving at slow speeds.'

Lake Oswego is mentioned under a sub-head on 'engaging the community in dialogue.'

He wrote, 'Lake Oswego took a major step in creating Aging-Friendly Communities through its 50+ Community Dialogues. The city chose an approach that generated citizen interest, promoted local identification of options and a realization that solutions need not depend solely on city funding.

'Rather than the city asking for comments on proposed alternatives, citizens identified issues themselves. Ideas blossomed from community conversations that involved more than 350 residents of all ages as people discussed the challenges and opportunities they experience in their lives. Statistical data from Portland State University and research from a consulting team rounded out ideas and suggested best practices.

'The process was based on the belief that individuals have a strong stake in creating the future of their community and a desire to participate in shaping that future. Now the city has a newly created 50+ Advisory Board and an engaged cadre of people committed to creating an Aging-Friendly Community in Lake Oswego. As one community member put it, 'After 20 years experience as an active Lake Oswegan, the 50+ dialogues have absolutely been the most energizing, positive, exciting process to hit this town. I've repeatedly been pulled aside by enthusiastic dialogue and task force participants, as well as general citizens of all ages, with eager questions about what will be and when will be the results of this engaging process.'

Other cities highlighted in the story include Atlanta, Yonkers, N.Y., Baltimore and Tampa Bay.

For more information, contact the National League of Cities, 1301 Pennsylvania Ave., NW Suite 550, Washington, D.C., 20004, phone

202-626-3000 or visit the Web site at www.nlc.org .