Age-friendly cities and communities

In 2010, for the first time in history, a majority of the world's population were living in an urban environment and it is projected that by 2050 seventy percent of us will be living in cities (Birch & Wachter, 3). This momentous shift creates a looming need to address urban accessibility for all ages – creating a positive environment where everyone can actively contribute in society.

The age-friendly cities concept was developed by the World Health Organization (WHO) to address the environmental and social factors which contribute to active and healthy ageing. This concept takes a bottom-up approach, requiring municipalities to plan for an ageing demographic and accommodating the needs of their residents, rather than a nation-wide initiative from the top-down.

Our failure to adequately prepare for the converging issues of rapid urbanization and the growth of older populations can lead to elderly isolation, the inaccessibility of services, and increasing marginalization. Therefore, the IFA is interested in papers providing examples of age-friendly initiatives that have been implemented globally and receiving papers that identify ways and means of increasing the visibility of age-friendly cities on the global policy agenda.