Bridging the Generational Divide in RRDs


  • Key features of rural retirement destinations (RRDs), the impact of RRDs on seniors, and the impact of the seniors on their adopted communities

  • How to design the built environment to meet the needs of a multigenerational community

  • How housing inventory and infrastructure in a community can positively or negatively impact health, independence, and the need for services

  • How to modify zoning and local regulations to decrease challenging circumstances and increase opportunities for solutions 


For decades Leelanau County, Mich., experienced senior in-migration. That in-migration eventually led to an out-migration of younger, working-age residents. Zoning policies—such as 10-acre minimum lot sizes and minimum square footage requirements—further created barriers to workforce housing, best illustrated by a $100,000 gap between median income and median housing price.

As the community struggled, the county planning director reached out to one of the authors of an APA issue brief on multigenerational community planning for help. The collaboration spawned a consensus-building workshop that, in turn, inspired further community discussion on how to strengthen opportunities for young and old alike through enabling community design. Learn how the county used that discussion—as well as methods from AARP’s Age-Friendly Communities Network—to create a community where all generations can thrive.