THE Eight Domains of Livability

Created by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2007, the domains of livability framework identifies eight areas that help communities recognize and address barriers to the well-being of their citizens.  

Watch this quick video for a great introduction!

These domains interconnect and overlap with one another.  For example, having benches available in public areas fosters social opportunities, and encourages intergenerational engagement that benefits everyone.

Note: Below, and throughout our site, underlined text indicates a live link.

more about the eight domains

Outdoor Spaces & Public Buildings

The external environment has a major impact on the mobility, independence and quality of life of people as they go about their daily lives. Well-maintained recreational areas, ample spots to rest, well-developed and safe pedestrian and building infrastructure, easy access to public spaces, and a secure environment all help provide an ideal community for all people.

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Accessible and affordable options are key to ensuring that all residents are able to be active and remain engaged. Heavy traffic, poor road conditions, insufficient  lighting, poorly positioned signage, and inadequate parking facilities are areas of concern that many lifelong communities work to improve.

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Communication & Information

A strong community will ensure that information on policies, events, and issues reach all residents in a timely, effective, and accessible manner.  It's critical to remember that no all residents will be familiar with or have access to high-speed communications networks, and those individuals with visual or hearing challenges many have special needs for accessing information, as well.

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civic participation & Employment

Lifelong communities provide all citizens with ample opportunities for volunteer or paid employment, entrepreneurial opportunities, lifelong learning, and political engagement.

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Respect & Social Inclusion

Negative perceptions of aging still exist, even in the most forward-thinking communities.  Lifelong communities have critical roles to play in raising awareness of aging and associated issues, involving older residents in decisions that affect them, and facilitating intergenerational engagement.  They strive to recognize and eliminate ageist attitudes and policies that have a negative effect on residents.

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Health Services & Community Supports

Accessible and affordable health services are crucial in keeping all citizens healthy, independent, and active.  In addition to encouraging the delivery of a range of services, from preventive care to residential care to end-of-life support, lifelong communities can develop outreach programs designed to promote healthy lifestyles.

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Social participation

Participating in intergenerational leisure, social, cultural, and faith-based activities in the community helps residents stay engaged and informed.  Lifelong communities have a role to play in planning events, ensuring accessible facilities and transportation, and creating awareness of opportunities for social participation.

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Quality housing and quality of life are often linked.  The ability to establish roots - affordably, independently, and safely - is often a significant goal for individuals, couples, and families alike.  In addition to advocating for better housing policy and options, lifelong communities can also help with home modification programs, volunteer handy-helper services, and assistance with connecting residents to programs that help with energy and other costs. 

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