The city is applying for funding to help the community adapt to an aging population.
City staff hope to use the money to do a “Walkability Inventory and Assessment” for seniors to identify and improve barriers to mobility for pedestrians, particularly seniors.
Ross Blackwell, the city’s land use manager, said in a report to council that it will reduce the “isolation and decline in physical activity” that some seniors experience.
“It will also provide a more complete understanding of the gaps in the primary pedestrian system that service key locations in the community,” Blackwell said. “This permits an improved level of capital planning for related infrastructure upgrades.”
The grant monies have been made available by the province to local governments to assist in preparing for aging populations. Council voted to apply for funding at its regular meeting last week.
Grants of up to $20,000 are available to support community planning initiatives and community projects focused on age-friendly communities and the ability of seniors to age in their own community, Blackwell said.
“An age friendly community is a community where older people are supported to live active, socially engaged, and independent lives through policies, services and structures designed to support them,” Blackwell said. “The creation of age-friendly communities in B.C. builds on findings from the World Health Organization’s Age-friendly Cities and the Canadian Age-friendly Rural and Remote Communities projects in 2007.”
A Walkability Inventory and Assessment in Campbell River will be used in the Master Transportation Plan which the city is in the process of updating.
“The grant will be applied to the creation of the primary formal and informal pedestrian routes and assess them for actual and perceived barriers to mobility” such as broken pavement, missing sections of sidewalk, and overgrown vegetation, Blackwell said.
The results will be reported with an inventory tool that can be used in future efforts.
The grant program was launched by the B.C. government in 2004 but additional funding was contributed in 2007 and in 2011 to support a new round of grant funding.