Committed To Becoming More Age-Friendly
Portland United States of America
In 2006, the Institute on Ageing (IOA) at Portland State University (PSU) was invited by the World Health Organization (WHO) to become a part of its Global Age-Friendly Cities Project. The IOA viewed the project as an excellent opportunity to further research and action in the areas of global ageing, urban studies and planning, and gerontology, and to improve Portland for future generations. The original Portland project was guided by a team of advisors, including older adults and representatives from AARP Oregon, Elders in Action, and other public, private, non-profit, and university organizations. The aim was to identify the city features’ degree of age-friendliness and to gather suggestions for improving the built, social, and service environments.
In June 2010, Portland was among the first cities to join the WHO Global Network of Age-Friendly Cities and Communities. The initial action taken as a member of the Network was for the Mayor to appoint IOA researchers to the City’s Portland Plan Advisory Group under the direction of the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability. The Portland Plan was preparatory to revising and updating the City’s 25-year strategic Comprehensive Plan aimed to make Portland a more thriving and sustainable city for all of its residents. The final version of the Portland Plan contained a two-page section titled, “Portland is a Place for All Generations,” which called for the creation of an age-friendly action plan, among other age-friendly actions. On October 16, 2013, the Action Plan for an Age-Friendly Portland was presented to the City Council and approved unanimously by resolution. The Plan is now being implemented in cooperation with community partners with a preliminary focus on age-friendly civic engagement, economic development and employment, and housing. The age-friendly efforts in Portland continue to gain momentum, while the City-University-Community partnership works to ensure progress through the development of indicators, refining policy, and improving environments for Portlanders of all ages and abilities.