Richard Milgrom PhD
Head and Associate Professor, Department of City Planning

410 Architecture 2 Building
t 204.474.6868
f 204.474.7532

BES, University of Manitoba
M’Arch, Certificate in Urban Design, University of Pennsylvania
PhD (Environmental Studies), York University, Toronto

Canadian Institute of Planners
Manitoba Professional Planners Institute
Manitoba Association of Architects

Planners Network and Planners Network Manitoba (PNmb)
International Network of Urban Research and Action (INURA)

Towards Age-friendly Communities
Since 2008, Dr. Richard Milgrom been participating in the Age-Friendly Communities – Active Aging Alliance as a researcher and as a project steering committee member. This is a 5-year, $1 million, SSHRC-funded Community University Research Alliance (CURA), that is based in the University of Manitoba’s Centre on Aging, under the direction of Dr. Verena Menac. The project involves faculty from across the university as well as more than a dozen community partner organizations.

The CURA aims to make cities and towns better places in which to grow old. In concert with the Province’s Age-friendly Manitoba initiative, more than 70 municipalities, including the City of Winnipeg, are now participating. The focus of the work Dr. Milgrom has been undertaking examined planning processes and how they have (or have not) taken aging into account, as well as the challenges and opportunities that have emerged for older adults in the build environment.

Dr. Milgrom's recent work has addressed impediments to the production of age-friendly environments in Winnipeg. This includes those that are rooted in current planning practices – and specifically who is consulted in the preparation of plans – and those that are manifestations of historic urban development patterns – most specifically that of car-oriented sprawl in and around the city.

Graduate students who have contributed to this work include Becky Raddatz and Waleed Albakry. Raddatz’s practicum research explored questions of why organizations that serve older adults are not consulted in planning processes, work that revealed that these organizations are not generally recognized by municipal planners, but that senior’s organizations also need to improve their understanding of the importance of planning and the built environment in ensuring independent living as long as possible. Albakry, and recent graduate Matt Glavin, have been working with Geographical Information Systems (GIS) to illustrate the social impacts of sprawling development patterns, preparing maps and analysis that illustrate, for example, how walking distances to urban amenities have increased over the last fifty years.

Dr. Milgrom’s work in the near future is going to move towards visualizing how built environments might be modified to better accommodate active aging. The studio that he will lead in the Fall of 2010, with funding from the CURA, will examine existing situations in urban, suburban and rural communities and, in consultation with local organizations, will develop and illustrate planning and design ideas to make appropriate improvements. The results will be made available to the local groups to assist with their advocacy work. They will also be presented on a website providing examples that can be used by groups in other places.

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