Age-friendly cities and communities: Policy opportunities and challenges

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Since the mid-2000s, the need to create age-friendly cities and communities,
meaning places where older people are actively involved,
valued, and supported, has emerged as a major concern for urban
policy. The World Health Organization (WHO) has driven this
age-friendly agenda through its Global Network for Age-friendly
Cities and Communities (GNAFCC). This paper reviews some of
the challenges associated with the development of this policy, given
the variety of economic and social pressures facing urban communities.
The discussion provides background to the development of
the age-friendly model and a summary of some of the factors necessary
for its successful implementation. The paper then reviews a
range of key areas where age-friendly policies might be developed,
with a particular focus on issues relating to the various inequalities
affecting older populations. The paper also emphasises the importance
of future age-friendly work being grounded in collaboration
with the range of movements seeking to improve the quality of life
of people living in cities. The paper concludes with a call for a more
inclusive age-friendly movement, one that acknowledges the full
diversity of aging experiences.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)137-154
JournalJournal of Elder Policy
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 19 Jun 2020


  • Social policy and ageing
  • age-friendly
  • urban policy
  • inequality
  • co-production

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Global inequalities
  • Manchester Institute for Collaborative Research on Ageing


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