FRANKLIN — The city of Franklin will take the next step in its historic community revitalization project with a three-day event that will lead to plans that address the needs of older residents while attracting and keeping younger adults and families.
The April 9-11 workshop, Franklin for a Lifetime, represents a new milestone in a partnership among the city, UNH Cooperative Extension, and Plan NH to respond to an aging population with housing, economic development, and revitalization ideas that will build a vibrant community for all ages.
"New Hampshire is facing the challenges and opportunities of being one of the fastest aging states in the country," said Sharon Cowen, community and economic development field specialist at Cooperative Extension. "Our population aged 65 and over is projected to double by 2025. Older residents want homes and communities that accommodate their desire to age in place and address the needs that come with age."
For the past six months, Franklin has been convening community meetings, consulting experts, and collecting data to inform creative concepts that will be presented to the city's leaders for action in May. The partners in Franklin for a Lifetime hope that the lessons learned here will also prove useful to other New Hampshire communities facing similar challenges.
The three-day workshop begins with a community supper on Thursday, April 9, followed by a full day of national and state speakers on Friday, April 10. Topics will include creating great places for all ages, revitalizing the community with a particular focus on the downtown area, and small business recruitment. Plan NH volunteers (such as planners, architects, and engineers) will meet on Saturday, April 11 to gather everything learned from the community and shape recommendations based on their community development experience and expertise. These draft plans will be turned back to the community for consideration and decision-making.
The project is supported by the National Endowment for the Arts and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, through the Citizens' Institute on Rural DesignTM
For more information or to register for the event, visit http://extension.unh.edu/Community-Development or call Sharon Cowen, community and economic development field specialist, UNH Cooperative Extension, (603) 641-6060.
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