Social Participation and Civic Engagement

While many Berkeley residents participate in local activities, organizers need to outreach broadly across race, immigration status, sexual identity and orientation, income level, and housing status. The population of isolated seniors needs to also be considered. Although there are various websites and newsletters indicating what is available in Berkeley, most residents are unaware of the offerings. Multiple modes of communication need to be used to ensure that older adults stay informed and engaged. The city website is difficult to navigate and needs to be regularly updated to be useful. In addition, many people call the county 2-1-1 information line, but data about why people call and how they manage referrals is not tracked. Being the home of the independent living movement, Berkeley was ahead of other cities in terms of accessibility. However, public buildings and parks need to continue to be updated with evolving standards to ensure residents with mobility challenges can participate. For the same reason, amenities to make parks safer and more accessible, like public bathrooms, lighting, and benches, are needed.

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Already In Development

✔ Development of a home visit program to isolated seniors

✔ Inclusion of older people in public images

✔ Intergenerational programming in the schools and community (e.g., active volunteers)

✔ Redesign of the city website to make it more accessible and easier to navigate

✔ Plans to increase access to broadband internet, up-to-date devices, and training, in partnership with nonprofit organizations

✔ Redevelopment of Berkeley’s 3-1-1 line, an online service center

✔ Improved access to information about the options for social engagement in Berkeley

✔ Older adult inclusion in concept planning for the North Berkeley Senior Center

✔ Addition of older adult programs in parks and recreation venues and consideration of increased hours at public parks


Goal and Recommendations

Enhance neighborhood cohesion and social connectedness of all Berkeley residents with community events and activities that are inclusive, affordable, and accessible.

➔ Equity and Inclusion:

  • Re-frame senior centers and outreach to attract a broader community.

  • Promote Age-Friendly business practices through an Age-Friendly Business Certification program.

  • Seek older adult input into current municipal planning around resiliency and infrastructure.

➔ Information:

  • Create an easier to access and navigate directory of Age-Friendly organizations, activities and engagement opportunities.

  • Add a link to activities for older adults to the City of Berkeley website.

➔ Infrastructure and policy:

  • Create safe routes to common destinations.

  • Improve park bathrooms and facilities.

  • Re-open Willard Pool to improve public access to swimming in South-East Berkeley.


Create a culture and community

that is inclusive, equitable, and

accessible for people of all ages.

The Goal of Age-Friendly Berkeley