Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space

"A community’s physical form, rather than its land uses, is its most intrinsic and enduring characteristic." [Katz, EPA] This blog focuses on place and placemaking and all that makes it work--historic preservation, urban design, transportation, asset-based community development, arts & cultural development, commercial district revitalization, tourism & destination development, and quality of life advocacy--along with doses of civic engagement and good governance watchdogging.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Getting seniors online

It happened that a post I did on "Rethinking community planning around maintaining neighborhood civic assets and anchors" sparked a comment from a colleague who is working on digital divide type issues related to senior citizens.

I really love the graphic they use to explain how they are trying to create a digitally networked senior community, further leveraging the network to other community organizations and institutions.
Concept for a Senior Internet Training Network, Don Samuelson
A key issue for the program is connecting to Senior housing buildings and Section 8 housing with appropriate programming. Their initial project is creating Internet access and training operations for 2,900 building residents in 23 building scattered across 10 communities in northern Illinois from Chicago to Rock Island.

-- Get Seniors Online website

The website has extensive resources including a literature review of various best practice programs.

Interestingly, with regard to the previously mentioned Comcast program, Internet Essentials, in Boston the program is income-tested, but not limited to households with children, so seniors, among other low income households are eligible to participate in the program. See "Boston and Comcast Strike Deal for Cheap Internet Services" from Government Technology.

But for some reason the Federal Trade Commission, in negotiating the anti-trust agreement, did not see the need to extend that provision on a national basis, for some reason it's Boston-specific, and therefore is a wasted opportunity.

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