Can global cities be ‘age-friendly cities’? Urban development and ageing populations

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Understanding the relationship between population ageing and urban change has become a major issue for public policy. An emerging theme has concerned the need to develop supportive urban communities for older citizens. This paper provides a critical perspective on what has been termed the development of ‘age-friendly cities and communities’ by exploring such policies in the context of urban change arising from globalisation, urban regeneration and austerity. A key argument is that research and policies on age-friendly cities require stronger integration with analyses of the impact of global forces transforming the physical and social context of cities. This theme is developed by examining: first, the arguments behind the development of the ‘age-friendly’ approach; second, the pressures affecting urban environments, and their relevance for the ‘age-friendly’ debate; and third, challenges for improving the urban environment for older populations. The article concludes by discussing the need to combine a conceptual model of ‘age-friendliness’ with analysis of the economic and social forces transforming urban environments.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)94
Number of pages100
Early online date26 Apr 2016
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2016


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