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Improving the Livability of West Virginia Communities


West Virginians of all ages want to enjoy a positive environment where they can live, work and play. The more West Virginia shares those great stories of why individuals and families choose to live in the Mountain State, the more competitive the state can be to attract and retain those who want to find a place to raise their families, find fulfilling work and experience a good quality of life.

To lay the groundwork on how to drive positive community change, WV Forward is collaborating with the AARP of West Virginia, Generation West Virginia and the West Virginia Community Development HUB to help build more livable communities for people of all ages. 

By cultivating these partnerships along with locals, WV Forward is working toward developing more places in West Virginia for people of all abilities, economic statuses and stages of life to grow up and grow old, while improving residents’ quality of life, businesses’ economic prospects and local governments’ bottom lines.
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investing in wv communities

Partnering with AARP to improve livability

AARP Livable Communities

What is a livable community?

"A Livable Community is safe and secure, has affordable and appropriate housing and transportation options, and offers supportive community features and services. Once in place, those resources enhance personal independence, allow residents to age in place, and foster their engagement in the community’s civic, economic and social life.”

— AARP Policy Book, Chapter 9

 Using the World Health Organization’s eight domains of livability as a framework, WV Forward, AARP and partners are taking concrete steps toward investing in better transportation and housing options, safe and walkable streets, access to key services, such as healthcare, and opportunities for residents to actively participate in their communities.

How livable is wv?

West Virginia has a score of 50 in the AARP Livability Index.


Discover the livability of your WV community

The AARP Livability Index is an online tool to measure community livability, intended to inform and encourage communities to become more livable. It serves as a guide for individuals and businesses to make location decisions, as businesses consider where to locate, workers choose where to reside and retirees decide where to go on a vacation or consider second homes.

Seven key livability categories include: 

  • Engagement
  • Environment 
  • Health
  • Housing
  • Neighborhood
  • Opportunity and transportation 

How livable is your WV community?

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AARP Network of Age Friendly States and Communities

Charleston has recently joined the AARP Network of Age Friendly States and Communities. Based on assessments that AARP and WV Forward are conducting to identify community needs within the eight domains of livability, an age-friendly action plan will be developed for Charleston to be implement by 2021. 

WV Forward and AARP are currently producing a survey of community residents and compiling an asset inventory, which will inform the creation of an action plan for the city. Stay tuned for progress updates!

WV Livability Accolades explores what makes small-to-medium sized cities great places to live, work and visit. 

Be part of something bigger.

We want to hear from you. Share your ideas. Stay informed. Help us move West Virginia Forward.

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*Citations available upon request.