Periodically the Communities for a Lifetime initiative uses this space to highlight one of the more than 100 communities across Florida that are planning aging-in-place initiatives.
Communities for a Lifetime Initiative Earns
National Recognition as Government Innovator
TALLAHASSEE – Florida’s Communities for a Lifetime initiative today became part of the first group of innovative government programs selected for the new Bright Ideas program by the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. Bright Ideas is designed to recognize and share creative government initiatives around the country with interested public sector, nonprofit and academic communities.
A total of 173 government programs around the nation were selected for the newly created Bright Ideas program, which is administered by the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation. The Harvard Kennedy School said the Bright Ideas program will recognize promising government programs and partnerships that government officials, public servants and others might find useful when faced with their own challenges.
The Communities for a Lifetime initiative, part of the Department of Elder Affairs, works with Florida cities, towns and counties to use existing local resources and state technical assistance to plan and implement improvements that benefit residents of all ages. The initiative, which currently has 113 active participating local governments around the state, promotes planning in areas such as housing, transportation, health and wellness, volunteerism, intergenerational programs and employment. The goal is to help seniors remain independent and age in place within their communities throughout their lifetimes.
“Elders represent one of the fastest-growing population groups in our state, and our goal is to foster communities that allow them to remain active and independent,” said Elder Affairs Secretary Charles T. Corley. “The Communities for a Lifetime initiative is an exciting approach to building communities for Floridians of all ages, and it’s gratifying to see the initiative attract such prestigious national recognition.”
The inaugural group of Bright Ideas was chosen by a team of expert evaluators made up of academics, practitioners and former public servants. Selected from a pool of almost 600 applicants, the 2010 Bright Ideas address a range of pressing issues including poverty reduction, environmental conservation and emergency management.
“For over 20 years we have been honoring the country’s most creative public sector initiatives through our Innovations in American Government Awards Program,” said Anthony Saich, director of the Ash Center. “The creation of Bright Ideas was a natural next step to shed light on an even greater number of noteworthy programs and practices across our nation and to encourage practitioners to make these ideas work in their own backyards.”
The 2010 Bright Ideas will be showcased on the center’s Government Innovators Network (http://innovations.harvard.edu), an online marketplace of ideas and examples of government innovation for policymakers and practitioners. This first group of Bright Ideas will serve as a cornerstone of a new online community where innovative ideas are proposed, shared and disseminated.
For more information on the Communities for a Lifetime initiative, visit www.CommunitiesForaLifetime.org or the Department of Elder Affairs website at http://elderaffairs.state.fl.us