Developing Age-Friendly Cities and Communities: Eleven Case Studies from around the World

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Developing age-friendly cities and communities has become a key part of policies aimed at improving the quality of life of older people in urban areas. The World Health Organization has been especially important in driving the ‘age-friendly’ agenda, notably through its Global Network of Age-Friendly Cities and Communities, connecting 1114 (2020 figure) cities and communities worldwide. Despite the expansion and achievements of the Network over the last decade, little is known about the progress made by cities developing this work around the world. This article addresses this research gap by comparing the experience of eleven cities located in eleven countries. Using a multiple case study approach, the study explores the key goals, achievements, and challenges faced by local age-friendly programs and identifies four priorities the age-friendly movement should consider to further its development: (1) changing the perception of older age; (2) involving key actors in age-friendly efforts; (3) responding to the (diverse) needs of older people; and (4) improving the planning and delivery of age-friendly programs. The article concludes by discussing the research and policy implications of these findings for the age-friendly movement.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
Article number133
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number1
Early online date27 Dec 2020
Publication statusPublished - 2021

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