Mableton is a diverse, unincorporated community located 12 miles from downtown Atlanta in South Cobb County, Georgia. Its total population is 87,000; 20 percent are older adults.
The goal of Lifelong Mableton was to build the capacity of a local community to become a Lifelong Community where individuals of all ages can live throughout their lifetime through comprehensive planning, design, programming, and community involvement. Specific goals included:
- Transforming Mableton into a healthy, attractive community, offering services residents want and need as they age, and community design (specifically housing and transportation) that addresses the physical needs of older adults.
- Identifying barriers that limit the ability of individuals to age in place.
- Ensuring that Lifelong Mableton serves all community residents, including starter families, empty nesters and everyone in between.
- Developing a model program that can be replicated regionally and statewide.
Specific accomplishments of the Lifelong Mableton project include:
- Developing productive and non-traditional partnerships with a diverse group of stakeholders in Mableton to facilitate the implementation of Lifelong Community principles;
- Promoting community ownership and sustainability through education, outreach, coaching, and leadership-building;
- Participating in the creation and adoption of a form-based code for the study area. This code (the Mableton SmartCode) will encourage growth and development in the heart of Mableton, using development guidelines that will enhance the walkability of the community, destinations, green space, housing options and more;
- Leading local residents in conducting a Walkability assessment (PDF), which was incorporated into the Mableton SmartCode;
- Launching both a seasonal farmer's market that caters to older adults and an intergenerational community garden in the area envisioned for the Lifelong Mableton town square to provide access to fresh produce, social opportunities, and help build a sense of place in Mableton;
- Sponsoring nutrition and preventative health classes.
- Lifelong Community Development: Lifelong Communities A Framework for Planning
- Lifelong Communities Handbook: Creating Opportunities for Lifelong Living
- Lifelong Communities Summit Toolkit 2012
- Health & Wellness: Encouraging Healthy Lifestyles (resources include Approach, Handbook, and Encouraging Healthy Lifestyles Panel Card)
- Senior Community Garden Initiative
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Building Healthy Communities for Active Aging Initiative Commitment Award (2011) was awarded to the Atlanta Regional Commission for the Lifelong Mableton project in recognition of their efforts to combine smart growth principles with the concepts of active aging.
Atlanta Regional Commission
Division Manager, Aging and Health Resources Division
Click here for a detailed case study of the CIAIP Lifelong Mableton project, including accomplishments, challenges, and lessons learned.