The City of Centennial’s Innovation Team (i-team) assists the City in tackling its top priorities. The i-team started in 2014 with an initial focus on transportation and mobility. With the help of the i-team, Centennial released the Go Centennial pilot program and the Mobility Ambassador Program.

With direction from the Mayor and City Council, along with the strong partnership of the Senior Commission, the i-team transitioned focus areas to Aging in Community – with a specific focus on housing. Having conducted research with subject matter experts and Centennial residents, the i-team is now ready to come up with initiative ideas. Centennial looks forward to working with City residents, subject matter experts and businesses to co-design initiatives that enhance the experience of residents aging well in Centennial’s community.  


PHASE 1: DISCOVERY - Defining Aging in Community Challenges

Aging in Community involves many different topics and there are many different facets of what can be examined in each topic. In order to understand the breadth and depth of the aging ecosystem the i-team interviewed subject matter experts, City Council, the City's Senior Commission and City residents.

The above graphic shows a few examples of feedback captured by the City from SMEs. The i-team used this data to cross reference with subsequent ideas from City Council, Senior Commissioners and Centennial residents.

The i-team first began with interviewing subject matter experts (SMEs) within the aging space to one, validate anecdotal evidence that Aging in Community is a challenge in Centennial and two, identify common pain points across eight domain areas of Aging in Community. Those domain areas included: Community, Financial, Transportation, Caregiving, Engagement, Health, Housing and Workforce/Volunteering. SME's included professionals in Arapahoe County, non-profit organizations and private practices, such as - elder law specialists and private wealth managers.  

Subject Matter Expert Interviews

‍‍‍The City of Centennial is excited to work alongside residents and businesses.

Let's continue to age well in our community!

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Aging in Community

About Aging in Community



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After an initial understanding of the many underlining pain points in the senior space, the i-team sat down with Mayor Noon and City Council Members from each of the four districts in Centennial. This was an opportunity to discover similarities and differences that all the districts face in the aging space.

Public Official Interviews

After conversations with Public Officials, the i-team was able to determine four domain areas as high priority across the four districts. These four domains included: Caregiving, Housing, Transportation and Social (Community and Engagement).

Senior Co‍‍‍mmission Workshop

During this workshop the Centennial Senior Commission and City Council participants engaged in activities that enabled the i-team to understand ideal solutions in each of the four domain areas. This revealed commonalities across domains of what kind of solutions seniors desire and gave insight into how common obstacles appear through various domains. Please open the "Workshop Notes" to view the results from the workshop.

Create Web of Collected Information

The i-team consolidated all the data collected up to this point and captured commonly discussed ideas on sticky notes. These sticky notes were organized on a board and assigned a sticker based on who brought up the idea and another sticker to identify if the idea was relevant between domains.  

During this juncture, we examined the four domains and analyzed the:  

  • City's capacity to influence each domain  
  • Enthusiasm from Senior Commissioners, City Council and City Staff
  • Robust network of interrelated public and private providers interested                                                   ‍‍‍  i‍‍‍n innovative solutions

Housing surfaced as a clear priority after the analysis was complete.

Similar to the start of the research phase, the i-team did another round of subject matter interviews, but this time with goal of better understanding the housing ecosystem in Centennial. During this round of interviews we sat down with professionals ranging from employees of assisted living communities to City staff in the Community Development Department.

We gained a better understanding of interrelationships between public and private senior housing organizations, and also, investigated what services are currently available and what demographics of people utilize those services.

The i-team printed insights on sticky notes and categorized all thoughts accordingly. After distilling the data based off this round of interviews, we were able to generate focused questions to ask during our resident interviews. Our foundational questions, which led to what we asked residents, included:

Focused Interviews with Experts in Housing

Resident Interviews

The City interviewed 16 residents of different ages, living in an array of housing types with a range of physical abilities. For about an hour and a half, residents were asked questions about:

  • Support they have from family, friends, neighbors and organizations in the community
  • Planning for retirement and general aging
  • Community activities
  • The built environment around their homes
  • How can seniors stay in their suburban homes comfortably and safely?
  • How can seniors move into more supportive housing arrangements, when desired?
  • Once a senior decides to move, what goes into the decision and what is the process like?

Similar to the focused interviews with experts in housing, the i-team printed out insights on sticky notes to tease out commonalities of what residents most often discussed during the interviews.

After distilling resident interview data, the City generated How Might Questions. These questions act as problem statements during ideation (brainstorming) workshops and for the community to engage with on either the resident or business pages of this website.‍‍‍

The City will continually add content to this website as we work through each phase of the process. Please stay tuned as Centennial works with residents and businesses to find ways to age well together.

Please feel free to submit general questions or comments in the email submission box.

We would be appreciative if you participate and submit ideas on the resident and business pages appropriately. Thank you!  

Workshop Notes

PHASE 2: IDEATION - Generating, Evaluating and Prioritizing Initiative Ideas

Armed with the six How Might Questions from the research phase, the City set out to hold seven ideation workshops to solicit ideas from Centennial residents, businesses, City Staff and aging experts in the region. Below, is an infographic illustrating the seven events and some of the ideas that were contributed by participants.

Researc‍‍‍h Questions

1. How Might Centennial homes be more accommodating of physical limitations?

2. How Might Seniors and their families be prompted to be more proactive with detecting                problems before they're problems?

3. How Might Aging be destigmitized and planning be encouraged?

4. How Might The quality of life of seniors improve by alleviating the pressure of doing daily            chores?

5. How Might Seniors have the freedom of a car without having a car?

6. How Might Every senior have a friend or have a meaningful social activity they enjoy?

Ideation Even‍‍‍ts

Download: aging ideas tree.pdf

Resident - During three events located at different libraries throughout Centennial, residents provided 63 ideas to the City.  The workshops included a time for residents to individually come up with ideas based on the City's problem statements, and then, expand on their ideas with the "How would you do this differently" activity. This exercise urged participants to build on their original ideas by offering prompts that exaggerate the challenges and opportunities of aging. At the end of each session the facilitators opened up the floor for a discussion. During this time, new ideas emerged and existing ideas were expanded.

Business - During this event at a local brewery and restaurant, businesses were invited to help the City generate ideas for the Aging in Community - Housing priority area. The business community shared 72 ideas with the City, contributing a different that the City will incorporate as initiatives are built out.

City Staff - The i-team received tremendous participation from staff during the employee workshop. Staff members across a variety of departments were able to collaborate and generate 88 ideas. Many of the ideas were inspired by personal experiences staff had with the senior demographic and how they thought services and processes could be improved.

Aging2.0 Denver Ch‍‍‍apte‍‍‍r - Aging2.0 supports innovators that are taking on the biggest challenges and opportunities in aging. In a co-organized event with the Aging2.0 Denver Chapter, Centennial was able to work with aging experts in the Denver Metro region to amass 194 ideas.

i-team - The i-team wanted a crack at an ideation session after having facilitated six previous workshops. The team generated 58 original ideas and built off a few personal favorites from the previous ideation events.

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PHASE 3: IMPLEMENTATION - Working with partners and stakehol‍‍‍ders to build and execute implementation plans

Ideas Approved for Implementation Planning

Mobile Senior Center

Aging in place in the suburban setting can result in individuals located throughout the community, with those who cannot or choose not to drive experiencing reduced access to centralized resources. This initiative would introduce a Mobile Senior Center in Centennial to provide the resources of a traditional senior center in a format that is designed to suit the needs of Centennial’s senior residents.

Promote Universal Design Retrofits

This initiative would develop Universal Design building and retrofit guides to be included within the existing Building Guides Library on the City of Centennial’s website. The initiative would also expand the City’s Home Improvement Program (HIP) to improve rebates awarded to residents making universal design retrofit‍‍‍s in their homes.

Ideas Approved for ‍‍‍Monitoring

Demonstration House

This initiative looks to educate Centennial residents on how they can update their homes to enhance in-home quality of life. The City would provide a demonstration home to highlight minor and major renovations and technologies residents can consider to prolong independence and increase quality of life. Examp‍‍‍les may include universal design, accessibility features or smart home appliances. Companies would rotate their products in the home to demo them to the public.

Senior Testbed in Centennial

Many variables inhibit a one-solution outcome to enable seniors to live more comfortably and safely in their homes. To facilitate private industry innovation, Centennial could establish policies for private entities to responsibly develop and test products and services in the City.

Virtual Senior Center

This initiative would create a virtual space for seniors to find a sense of community, a pivotal component of senior health. This web-based program would allow both home-bound and active senior residents to access a ‍‍‍'one-stop-shop' of resources they need to age well in their community.

Technology Ambassador Program

This initiative would build upon the City’s successful Mobility Ambassador Program and provide peer-to-peer training for technology resources. This initiative would fulfill the need continually voiced by residents and subject matter experts that the senior demographic wants to learn how to use modern technologies, like mobile applications and Internet of Things (IoT) appliances to accomplish tasks.

On Monday, August 7, 2017 ‍‍‍the Ce‍‍‍ntennial City Council gave the i-team the thumbs up to move forward with the City's Aging in Community initiatives, listed below. City Council has prioritized the top two initiatives, the Mobile Senior Center and Promoting Universal Design Retrofits – and has requested the i-team continue monitoring the remaining four initiatives for potential partners. We want to hear about your ideas on potential partnerships for programming and funding for each of these initiatives. Please reach out to the i-team with any ideas, comments or questions. We look forward to hearing from you!