Age-Friendly Approaches and Old-Age Exclusion: A Cross-City Analysis

Tine Buffel, Samuèle Rémillard-Boilard, Kieran Walsh, Bernard McDonald, An Sofie Smetcoren, Liesbeth De Donder

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Developing ‘Age-Friendly Cities and Communities (AFCC)’ has become a key part of policies aimed at improving the quality of life of older people in urban areas. Despite this development, there is evidence of rising inequalities among urban elders, and little known about the potential and limitations of the age-friendly model to reduce old-age exclusion. This article addresses this research gap by comparing how Brussels, Dublin, and Manchester, as three members of the Global Network of AFCC, have responded to social exclusion in later life. The article combines data from document analysis and stakeholder interviews to examine: first, the background against which age-friendly programmes have emerged in the respective cities; second, the extent to which the goal of reducing social exclusion is integrated in the age-friendly strategies; and third, barriers to the implementation of age-friendly programmes. The paper suggests that there are reciprocal benefits in linking age-friendly and social exclusion agendas for producing new ways of combating unequal experiences of ageing in cities.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Ageing and Later Life
Publication statusPublished - 21 Jun 2020


  • age-friendly communities
  • social exclusion
  • old-age exclusion
  • social policy
  • urban ageing

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Global inequalities


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