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How to Make Cities More Age-friendly?

An age-friendly community can only result from an integrated approach centred on how people live. This involves coordinating different areas of city policy and services so that they are mutually reinforcing.

Fundamental change can be achieved by listening to those concerned, understanding the needs and by thinking beyond the confines of one’s own sector. Key steps to create age-friendly environments include engaging in a participatory process of assessing the age-friendliness across sectors (health, infrastructure, etc.), planning and implementing change collaboratively, and monitoring progress in partnership with older people and other key stakeholders.

A number of guides and tool kits have been developed on the process of creating more age-friendly communities. These can be downloaded from the Resource Library.

Key steps for your age-friendly journey
Engage and understand
Listening to and engaging stakeholders including older people to understand their needs and preferences and the existing barriers and opportunities for healthy and active ageing is key to ensuring efforts to become more age-friendly respond to local priorities.
Planning strategically enables all stakeholders to develop a shared vision, to determine the priorities for action and to plan and resource how the city or community will achieve the age-friendly outcomes they seek.
Implementing the Action plan is at the heart of creating an age-friendly city or community. Even small steps can go a long way. The Guide to creating age friendly cities and the AFEE Handbook list many possible actions.
Collecting evidence on both the progress of implementing the age-friendly approach as well as its impact on people lives is crucial to the success and sustainability of a city or communities’ efforts to become increasingly age-friendly. Monitoring and evaluating progress will help to identify successes (which must be celebrated) and challenges, provide results that can be communicated to local stakeholders, and serve as the basis for defining priorities for future improvements.