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Request for Decision

Age Friendly Community Project Endorsement



Presented To: Planning Committee
Presented: Monday, Feb 23, 2015
Report Date: Thursday, Feb 05, 2015
Type: Managers' Reports



Signed By

Report Prepared By
Kris Longston
Senior Planner
Digitally Signed Feb 5, 15

Recommended by the Division
Mark Simeoni
Acting Director of Planning Services
Digitally Signed Feb 10, 15

Recommended by the Department
Paul Baskcomb
Acting General Manager of Growth & Development
Digitally Signed Feb 10, 15

Recommended by the C.A.O.
Doug Nadorozny
Chief Administrative Officer
Digitally Signed Feb 10, 15

Resolution

THAT the City of Greater Sudbury approve the following resolution:

WHEREAS older persons are an important part of the City of Greater Sudbury;

AND WHEREAS it is in the City of Greater Sudbury’s interest that these citizens continue to live active lives and participate fully in the activities of the community;

AND WHEREAS the City of Greater Sudbury accepted the invitation from the Province of Ontario to participate in the Age Friendly Community Planning Strategy;

THEREFORE BE IT resolved that the City of Greater Sudbury partner with the Canadian Urban Institute to develop an Age Friendly Community Planning Strategy for the City to support participation and healthy active lifestyles for older adults and all citizens;

AND THAT staff involved with Age-Friendly Community Planning work co-operatively with existing community organizations to ensure that their programs and services are more age-friendly.

Purpose

The purpose of this report is to inform Council of an opportunity to partner with the Canadian Urban Institute (CUI) to access funds available through the Ontario Senior’s Secretariat Age-Friendly Community Planning Grant to develop an Age Friendly Action Plan for Greater Sudbury. A requirement of accessing the grant is for the City to pass a resolution supporting age friendly community planning.

Background

An age-friendly community is one where policies, services and structures related to the physical and social environments are designed to support and enable older people to live in a secure environment, enjoy good health and continue to participate fully in their communities.
Changing demographics will have an important influence on the City of Greater Sudbury over the next 20 years. The population profile of the City is “top heavy” with a proportionally large number of people near or past retirement age relative to the rest of Ontario and Canada. In 2011, 29% of the City’s population was over the age of 55 and 11% was over the age of 70. By the year 2036, this will have increased to 34% and 20%.
The City has long recognized the issues and opportunities presented by its changing demographics, which led to the development of a seniors-based economic development strategic plan, Action Planning for Sudbury’s Golden Opportunity and the creation of a Seniors Advisory Panel.
In 2013, the Ontario Seniors’ Secretariat launched Finding the Right Fit: Age Friendly Community Planning, which is a guide that provides step by step processes and tools to help municipalities and communities develop, implement and evaluate their local aging plans.
At this time, the Ontario Seniors’ Secretariat has launched the Age-Friendly Community Planning Grant Program, which will support innovative local planning initiatives across the province. Under this program, municipalities with a population over 100,000 are eligible for up to $50,000 for projects that will result in planning, implementation and evaluation of activities that contribute to the creation and ongoing development of age-friendly communities.
The Canadian Urban Institute was established in 1990 in Toronto as Canada’s applied urban policy institute. CUI is a public good enterprise that is 95% funded through project work. CUI provides applied research, education/training and communication to improve the processes and policies needed to make informed decisions about urban assets. The City recently partnered with CUI as part of the “Value of Investing in Northern Ontario Downtowns Study”. SHS Consulting is an independent Canadian consulting firm specializing in public policy research and community development. The City has a longstanding working relationship with SHS, most recently through the undertaking of a housing and homelessness background study as part of the Official Plan review.
CUI and SHS have approached the City about partnering with them to access the funding available from the Ontario Seniors’ Secretariat as part of the Age-Friendly Community Planning Grant program in order to develop an age-friendly action plan for Greater Sudbury. The project would be led by CUI in conjunction with SHS Consulting, City staff will be needed to provide relevant information and assist with the project. The grant application will be made by the CUI and there will be no financial obligations on behalf of the City.

Age-Friendly Action Plan Proposal

The project would be to develop an age-friendly action and implementation plan along with an evaluation tool that will focus on three of the eight age-friendly community dimensions developed by the World Health Organization, specifically; outdoor spaces and public buildings, transportation and housing. The plan would also provide a framework for integration with the other five dimensions, which are social participation, respect and social inclusion, civic participation and employment, communication and information and community support and health services.
The proposed action plan would address the following:
  • Reviewing the Official Plan and other policy documents in terms of how they affect older adults with respect to Outdoor Spaces, Public Buildings, Transportation and Housing;
  • Examining the City’s current development control processes to identify areas that could be adapted to reflect the needs of an aging population. This would complement other initiatives that enhance the built environment for people of all ages;
  • Conducting a demographic analysis at a neighbourhood scale to help the City establish criteria and priorities necessary to potentially identify and establish “aging improvement areas”. This process would involve identifying potential intervention strategies for the area including dedicated seniors programming, enhanced public safety, extended crossing times, training for older workers, as well as identifying opportunities for age-appropriate housing. These areas could then be the focus of a neighbourhood scale intervention to implement the recommendations, similar to how the City currently employs Community Improvement Plans under Section 28 of the Planning Act; and,
  • Using the findings of the study to develop internal capacity within the City and its volunteer resources to facilitate the development of additional aging improvement areas.
As mentioned this grant application and management of the project would be performed by CUI along with SHS, with information and support from City staff where necessary. Under the terms of the grant program, the project would begin no earlier than June of this year and would have to be completed by March of 2017. A key to accessing the funds available under the Age-Friendly Community Planning Grant program is Council support for age-friendly community planning through a Council resolution.