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Warner, M.E. and Zhang, X. (2020). "Age-Friendly Cities - Do Female Managers Matter?" paper presented at Beyond Representative Bureaucracy: Race, Gender, and Social Equity in Governance, September 2020.

We build upon the elements for child and age-friendly cities determined by UNICEF and WHO to design the first national US survey of local government planning and service delivery. Conducted in collaboration with the International City County Management Association (ICMA) in 2013, 1378 local governments provided gender of the city manager. We run structural equation models of managers’ gender, motivations, barriers, collaboration and the impacts on planning, zoning and services. We find support for representative bureaucracy theory as communities with female managers have higher motivation and barriers and are more likely to address age-friendly issues in their comprehensive plans and services. Engagement of seniors and families with children leads to more age-friendly planning, zoning and services. Path dependence may explain the absence of a gender difference in level of cross-agency collaboration for all ages, economic development plans or zoning. Structural paradigm shifts are needed to promote change.

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Subject: Age-Friendly,Planning