Committed To Becoming More Age-Friendly
Porto is the second-largest city in Portugal and one of the major urban areas in Southwestern Europe. Located along the Douro river estuary in Northern Portugal, Porto is one of the oldest European centers, and its historical center was proclaimed a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1996.
As in many others European cities the ageing rate has significantly increased in the last years. In 2011 the ageing index was 195,9 elderly people for every 100 young people. This index naturally tends to increase due to the growth in average life expectancy and the decrease of birth rate.
Aware of this reality the Municipality developed a strategy that aims to improve the quality of life of its citizens which includes a diverse set of initiatives towards the promotion of active and healthy ageing.
Within this strategy the City of Porto joined the Global Network of Age-Friendly Cities 2011. Together with the Academy and civil society organizations, a diagnostic assessment of the “Age-Friendless” of Porto was conducted. The suggestions for improvement of different aspects of the city were collected informing the development of an Action Plan, based on data from the initial assessment on the eight areas identified in the “WHO Age-friendly Cities Guide”.
As a result of this evaluation several initiatives were implemented, including a Monitoring System of City Life Quality. In order to better plan and intervene, promoting well‐being and combating socio‐spatial inequalities transversally, it is widely acknowledged that new information and knowledge platforms need to be built as a basis for technical and political decision‐making. Assessments of quality of life in neighbouring zones can provide a richer and more precise basis on which to diagnose situations and design integrated, innovative solutions for the problems and aspirations of citizens. Directly related with daily experiences, these approaches can also encourage the involvement of local actors in processes of collective learning and greater cooperation when the time comes to act. The identification and characterization of the spatial patterns that translate the variations affecting quality of life and wellbeing in Porto are therefore included.
The city of Porto is always finding new ways to keep its seniors actively involved in society, which is only possible through the articulated and integrated work between organizations and services that develop actions for this group, coordinated by the municipality through the creation and promotion of an operating unit of intervention for the senior population.
The promotion of active and healthy ageing is a constant concern and priority for the Municipality. Thus, its strategies and policies always take into account the implementation of more efficient health, long-term care and social services for its ageing populations as well as support innovative co-production models for active and healthy ageing in the city.