The Innovative Cities Lecture Series

“Livable Cities for All Ages: AARP National and Local Projects” presentation by Darrin Wasniewski, Associate State Director of Community Outreach for AARP Wisconsin, and Suleyman Bahceci, Senior Methods Advisor at the AARP Public Policy Institute.

Lecture Summary:

Housing needs change as we age, but it’s possible for our homes and communities to be livable for people of all ages and life stages. Learn how the AARP Livability Index can assist you and your community in planning a more accessible city and using placemaking for all generations to enjoy. National and local Wisconsin projects and partnerships will be shared.


Darrin Wasniewski is the Associate State Director of Community Outreach for AARP Wisconsin, where he co-leads the effort to create Livable Communities throughout the state. Darrin is also a Founding Partner of the consulting firm Grow Collaborative. He is passionate about fostering social connection, creating places for all ages and all abilities, and unleashing the power of locals as experts in their future. As a volunteer, Darrin is a Global Walkability Correspondent for, a collaborative focused on advancing walkable communities around the world, where he leads international workgroups focused on Architecture & Urbanism and the Walkable Economy. In the state, his passion finds an outlet as a steering committee member of 1000 Friends of Wisconsin’s Active Wisconsin Network. Locally, in his home of Madison, he serves on the steering and transportation committees for Madison is for People, is a member of Downtown Madison Inc. participating on the organization’s transportation and economic development committees, and as a transportation commissioner for the City of Madison. Additionally, he maintains membership in Wisconsin Downtown Action Council, Congress for New Urbanism, American Planning Association and YIMBY Action. He is a trained facilitator in Strategic Doing, Community Heart & Soul and Ice House Entrepreneurship Mindset. Darrin earned an MBA in Marketing from Kent State University and a Bachelor of Arts in History from Ohio State University.

Suleyman Bahceci is a Senior Methods Advisor at the AARP Public Policy Institute, where he has been a member of the Family, Home, and Community team since 2020. His work focuses on livable communities initiatives such as the AARP Livability Index, reviewing data, quantitative analytics, and overall project management support to empower individuals and families to prosper in their homes and communities. Prior to joining AARP, Suleyman played an administrative role in higher education and K-12 education settings. He was responsible for services that contribute to enhancing student success, recruitment, retention, and graduation. He also prepared and managed continuing education courses. Previously, Suleyman worked for nine years as a Research Scientist at Exelixis Inc., a biotechnology company in San Francisco.
He has served as vice chair of diversity and inclusion with the University Professional and Continuing Education Association (UPCEA). He is currently a senior member of the Civil Air Patrol and has been an Aerospace Education Officer and Character Education Instructor since 2017. He holds Project Manager Professionals (PMP) and CompTIA Security+ certifications.
Bahceci received his master’s and doctoral degrees in computational chemistry from the University of Texas, Austin and his bachelor’s degree in science education and Master of Science in Chemistry and Biochemistry from the Middle East Technical University in Ankara, Turkey.

AICP-CM credits will be awarded.

Questions, comments?

All lectures are free and open to planners, students, staff, faculty, and friends of the University. Please contact Blythe Waldbillig, Department of Urban Planning Project Assistant at