AARP and Design Community to Address Housing, Health

October 9, 2018 | DesignPhiladelphia, 2018 Festival


14th Annual DesignPhiladelphia Festival event to examine the intersections between housing, health, and design

Supporting Philadelphia's ascension as a hub for design excellence, AARP Pennsylvania will host a lunch and panel discussion during the 14th Annual DesignPhiladelphia Festival. One of more than 120 events presented by the Philadelphia Center for Architecture, AARP will examine the impact and intersections between housing, design, and health.

“We hope to address the intention, process, and the functionality of design that bridges the gap between housing and health,” states Yocasta Lora, AARP Pennsylvania Associate State Director. “We want to promote livable communities and improve quality of life for people of all ages.” 

One of the first and largest design festivals in the country, DesignPhiladelphia will "illustrate different projects and statistics that provide opportunities and a call to action for the design community to use their talents to actively participate in solving some of the most critical problems facing our city, our region, our country, and our world." 

Diana Lu, PlanPhilly-WHYY Community Engagement Editor, will moderate the panel discussion featuring Shannon Guzman, AARP Public Policy Institute Senior Strategic Policy Advisor; Drew Harris, Thomas Jefferson University Assistant Professor at Jefferson College of Population Health; Martha Anez, Associate Director, Thomas Jefferson University Interior Design and Interior Architecture Programs and Associate Professor; Leon D. Caldwell, Ujima Community Transformation Developers Founder and Managing Partner; and Ryan Spak, University City District Project Rehab Manager, Planning and Economic Development. 

The availability of safe and affordable housing with access to transportation, parks, healthy food, and other amenities can lead to better physical and mental health. According to the 2010 Census, approximately 258,000 of Philadelphia’s 1.5 million residents are 60 years old or older. That number is expected to double by 2035 according to AARP's Livability Index and the AARP Network of Age-Friendly Communities.

"I hope you will enjoy the festival as much as we've enjoyed working with the hundreds of designers to make it happen for the 14th year in a row," said DesignPhiladelphia Executive Director, Rebecca Johnson. 

Free and open to the public, the AARP Pennsylvania Hosting Housing, Design, and Health Panel Discussion at 2018 DesignPhiladelphia Conference takes place on Wednesday, October 10 from 11:45 AM to 2:00 PM at the Center for Architecture and Design located at 1218 Arch Street in Philadelphia. Registration is required, visit for details.

A livable community is one that is safe and secure, has affordable and appropriate housing and transportation options, and offers supportive community features and services. The physical design of workplaces, communities, and facilities greatly enhances individual independence, dignity, and choice.


Contact: Jacklyn Isasi | AARP Pennsylvania Communications Director | O: 267-825-9928 C: 609-902-6242 | Email: [email protected] 


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