An Interdisciplinary Approach to Aging and the Built Environment

Outreach & Research

In both outreach and research the New Cities Initiative focuses on facilitating the creation of research infrastructure.

Momentum is rapidly building toward development of a sixty-acre tract in west Lawrence that will become Campus Village, an intergenerational community. New Cities is working with the Campus Village corporation to facilitate this development, which will provide research infrastructure for gerontology and many other disciplines

In another infrastructure project we are reaching out to our sister institutions along the I-70 corridor through Kansas and Missouri. This effort, funded by a seed grant from KU’s Research Investment Council, aims to create an infrastructure for collaborative research on aging among scholars from nine universities situated between St. Louis, Missouri, and Manhattan, Kansas. 

Outreach and Research

Middle School Students Envision a Future City

Students from Westridge Middle School in Lenexa, Kansas, visited New Cities on October 11, 2013. The students are working with William Empson, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, to prepare entries in the National Engineers Week Foundation’s annual Future City Competition. The students came to discuss transportation, but the session soon turned to the topic of our aging population and how that might affect transportation as well as other aspects of city life in the future.

Lenexa Kids

After the meeting, Mr. Empson sent a note of appreciation and has given us permission to share it here.

Dr. Domer,
Thank you very much for taking the time to meet with us last Friday and to share your views and vision. Your energy, enthusiasm and passion for your work significantly inspired the kids. The focus on the social aspects of infrastructure helped them stitch together some of the more technical engineering discussions that they heard and will give them a unique perspective on their work as they move forward. They truly were energized when we left your office.

I also believed that you helped them start to have a larger personal view of their own families and communities and not just focus on the worlds in the middle school hallways. I saw and heard some sparks from them that make me believe that their worlds were broadened in the hour that we spent with you. My daughter [one of the students] has referenced your thoughts several times since then so it is clear that you had their attention far more than anyone else we talked with.

I very much appreciate your time and the genuine care that you showed our kids.

Thank you very much.

William B. Empson, PE, PMP
Senior Levee Safety Program Risk Manager
Risk Management Center-West-Denver
Institute for Water Resources
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

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