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Keywords:

  • baby boomers;
  • Greensburg;
  • Kansas;
  • place attachment;
  • retirees

abstract.

On 4 May 2007 an ef-5 tornado leveled 95 percent of Greensburg, Kansas. Because city leaders encouraged everyone to use “green” building techniques as they rebuilt their homes and businesses, not only has the return to normalcy been exceedingly slow, but some of the town's older residents feel that officials have overlooked their needs. These minor episodes of discord enabled us to learn what features are most important to people in retirement. The features include identifiable landmarks, a space in which to socialize, and age-specific businesses. We assert that the lessons learned in Greensburg are applicable to other communities with a sizable older population. As baby boomers rapidly enter retirement they will seek places to live that are elder friendly and enable them to effectively bond with place. As previous research attests, people who have a strong attachment to place commonly have a good quality of life.