We believe that if everything we do in our public spaces is great for an 8 year old and an 80 year old, then it will be great for all people.

880cities.org

8 to 80 cities are streets and places that can be used independently by people from 8 to 80 years old. This can range from an 8 year old riding their bike to school, or an 80 year old walking to the local shops. Each person is able to move about the city in a manner that is safe, convenient and enjoyable.

By designing our cities for cars, and consequently neglecting our sidewalks, we have siloed our elders. Not only does an inability to drive confine many seniors to their homes, but corresponding busy roads and inhumane streetscapes add to the isolating effect by also limiting walkability.

Sara Joy Proppe, The Isolation of Aging
Image credit: CC0 Public Domain/Pixabay

To build great streets and places, we should imagine what would help 8 and 80 year olds. Wide, flat, protected footpaths, protected bicycle lanes, and protected intersections. Shade, seats, calm streets. In other words, making our streets better for children, and better for seniors. The core of all these elements is safety.