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What We Heard

Rural Berkshire County offers nature lovers year-round beauty and easy access to the outdoors – and has a major impact on the quality of life of young and old residents alike.  The built environment also has an impact on how we live our lives, as does the use of our public buildings and spaces. Aging public buildings and infrastructure have evolved as our community has grown and needs have changed. Today, the wish to protect our natural environment, while making it accessible to all ages, coupled with the ever-changing needs of an aging population, are prompting us to re-create our communities again.

Clean, safe, well-planned and maintained roads, recreational areas, pedestrian walkways, bikeways, and accessible, well-lit buildings and sidewalks together provide an ideal living environment for aging-in-place.

Creating an age-friendly region will likely require the adaptation or rehabilitation of many public spaces and structures over time, with the goal of a more cohesive and integrated community, designed for maximal access to nature, increased mobility and independence for all.

Outdoor Spaces & Buildings Domain Goals at a Glance

  • Create and/or maintain accessible spaces to ensure that residents of all ages and abilities can use and enjoy public spaces, whether they are indoors or outdoors.
  • Market and promote opportunities to encourage residents of all ages and abilities to use public spaces.
  • Work to create/maintain safe places, including parks, open spaces and public buildings.
  • Work to create/maintain spaces that are multigenerational and inclusive for all users.
  • Encourage the use of joint use agreements allowing community groups to use municipal buildings.
  • Promote Complete Streets solutions (i.e., those designed and operated to enable safe access for all users, including pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists and transit riders of all ages and abilities) whenever possible.