Ten questions concerning age-friendly cities and communities and the built environment

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The development of ‘age-friendly cities’ has become a major area of work in the field of ageing and the built environment. This movement is driven by the observation that cities are home to an ever-increasing ageing population. Over the past decade, a multitude of age-friendly initiatives have been developed with the aim of making physical and social environments more favourable for older people's well-being, health and ability to live in the community. This article explores ten key questions associated with the age-friendly cities and communities' movement, with a particular focus on the built environment. It provides an overview of the history of the age-friendly cities' movement and the underlying models, the aspects of the built environment that are relevant for age-friendly cities, the ways age-friendliness can be evaluated, and the interactions between age-friendly cities initiatives and other strategic agendas such as smart cities. The paper concludes by discussing future perspectives and possible directions for further development of the age-friendly movement.

Original languageEnglish
Article number107922
JournalBuilding and Environment
Early online date27 Apr 2021
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jul 2021


  • Age-friendly cities
  • Built environment
  • Housing
  • Older people
  • Review
  • Smart cities
  • Technology
  • WHO


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