Partners of the Plan News:
The 8/80 Rule Works for Children and Seniors

Healthy Aging 8-80The “8/80 Rule” proposes that city planning should consider needs across the lifespan – from eight year old children to eighty year old adults. Planning for the entire lifespan provides the greatest community benefit. Communities in Europe and Canada have used the rule to plan safe walking areas in neighborhoods and city centers, along with interconnected transportation options to help people that prefer not to drive. The 8/80 rule underscores the value of Safe Routes to School planning and Complete Streets work that is active and successful in Washington State.

Communities planned using the 8/80 rule to:

  • Allow children and adults to be physically active by providing safe, accessible and enjoyable places for everyone walk, bike and be active every day.
  • Encourage human interaction by creating inviting public places where people can gather.
  • Promote healthy lifestyles for everyone regardless of age, ability, or economic status.

Ensuring the mobility of children and seniors is a community benefit for all. Age-friendly environments convey respect for both young and old, and allow people of all generations to stay physically active.


The Healthy Aging Research Network is led by the University of Washington’s Health Promotion Research Center. Two action briefs developed by the Network highlight the benefits that 8/80 rule can contribute in planning communities in New York, Maine and Georgia.

Benefits included:

  • New York City created Aging Improvement Districts and developed the Age-Friendly New York City website with useful tools.
  • Georgia created a planning climate where considering aging issues is routine and launched a campaign called Georgia for a Lifetime.
  • In Maine, the University of Maine engaged older adults in planning for ways to reduce environmental hazards in their areas to improve air and water quality.


The 8-80 Rule Action Brief (pdf)

8-80 Cities website

Complete Streets Initiatives

Target Audience

Transportation planners



Plan Objectives Addressed

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