Community Building

Intergenerational communities embrace solutions that serve, empower and engage residents of all ages.

There is a growing movement in the United States and around the world to make neighborhoods, cities, and communities better for the increasing aging population. Whether these initiatives are called livable communities, age-friendly cities, or aging-in-place, this important work is opening the door to explore how including people of all ages, specifically young people, can net greater returns.

Publication Creating An Age-Advantaged Community
Creating An Age-Advantaged Community: A Toolkit for Building Intergenerational Communities that Recognize, Engage, and Support All Ages includes a series of tools to help communities become all age friendly.

Too often older and younger people are marginalized and left on the sidelines. Their voices are not included in discussions around community life. By 2040, older adults, children and youth combined will make up over 40% of the U.S. population. It is not a stretch to say that America’s younger and older people are one of our greatest assets. And it makes sense to capitalize these assets. Communities that engage all ages are doing just that. It is not enough to say that communities that are good to grow old in are also good to grow up in. There must be intentional efforts to build connections between the generations.

The intergenerational nature of a community is reflected in the families, facilities, structures, services, policies, and regulations that children, youth, and older adults encounter in the community as well as in day-to-day interactions and relationships. Partnerships between local government, older adult living facilities, schools, colleges and universities, multi-service organizations, businesses, cultural and community organizations, and community members of all ages are essential for successful intergenerational communities.

Best Intergenerational Community Awards

The Generations United/MetLife Foundation Best Intergenerational Communities Awards program is the United States’ only recognition program exclusively focused on communities that are embracing intergenerational solutions to serve, empower, and engage residents of all ages.


Project Intergenerational Solutions for Healthy Aging in Michigan
Generations United, with support from the Michigan Health Endowment Fund, is planning and piloting an intergenerational initiative with Girl Scouts Heart of Michigan.
Publication La Tiendita: An Intergenerational Entrepreneurship Program
This is the program development manual for “La Tiendita” (little shop in Spanish), a two year intergenerational entrepreneurship program designed to help reduce social isolation among Latino older adults and foster intergenerational understanding and empathy.
Video Connecting Generations Strengthening Communities
This video showcases different award-winning intergenerational programs.
Video Time Out Respite Program
Time Out is an in-home support program in which college students provide quality, low-cost respite services to families caring for the frail elderly. The program seeks to reduce caregiver stress and the social isolation commonly experienced by caregivers and their elderly relatives, and offers college students valuable experience in geriatrics.
Video Communities for All Ages
The goal of Communities for All Ages is to improve the lives of children, youth, adults and elders by building the capacity of communities to address critical issues from a multigenerational, cross-sector perspective.