Scott

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Scott Watkins specializes in community planning at the intersection of environmental sustainability and behavioral economics. In doing so, Scott often views land use and development issues from the ground up, taking time to consider the human-scale interactions of space and place. His projects range from developing digital tools to fabricating public art. A licensed California General Contractor, an accredited New Urbanist (CNUa) and LEED-ND professional, Scott holds a Bachelor of applied Arts

Bachelor of applied Arts and Science (BAS) in Public Administration, with an emphasis in City Planning, from San Diego State University and a Masters in Public Policy (MPP) and Masters in Business Administration (MBA) from Mills College.

Scott is a resourceful, mid-career professional with broad technical knowledge of healthy, sustainable urban design and land use policy. As a skilled policy translator, he often helps community members understand the impact policy has on their everyday life and their local economy. Scott has knowledge of the Living Building Challenge, EcoDistricts, and the LEED-ND rating system. In his spare time, Scott serves as a consultant to business start-ups and those looking to expand their market share.

Aging in Place

by Scott Watkins, MBA MPP

During our lifetimes, we develop deep connections with our community. We form causal relationships with our barista, hair stylist, sandwich artist, and neighbors. The familiarity we develop in our lifetimes with the neighborhoods and larger community; the concerts in the town square, the parklet where community members dine on a Sunday afternoon, cannot be seamlessly replicated when folks are abruptly forced to move into a new environment. Life's little patterns, and the relationships we foster along the way, are the essence of living and aging gracefully. 

 

Of Americans over the age of 65, 21 percent do not drive; commonly cited reasons include lack of access to a car, declining health and safety concerns (Baily, L. 2004). Consequently, over 50 percent of non-drivers do not leave home most days, partly because of an inability to reach somewhere meaningful due to a lack of transportation (Baily, L. 2004).

Communities that centered exclusively on driving a car have a direct and debilitating impact on our elders by creating social isolation. When addressing the social isolation, we begin to see the separation of housing from community services no longer makes sense for our aging populations.

 

We need a more comprehensive strategy to integrate housing options for our aging population with services, businesses, and programs through public policies. In-turn, this strategy would make it possible for older adults to remain in their community, in close proximity to the services and businesses they are already familiar with, thereby preserving their independence, dignity and social connections with the community. 

Create infill development policies that incentivise living conditions that appeal to our aging population are also a strong economic development policy. When older adults have the option to live close to the community core, along with innovative placemaking policies, they offer the eyes on the street that deters criminal activities. More pedestrian activity leads to a safer community and a more robust local economy.