Developing Age-Friendly Cities: A Tool to Guide Efforts to Promote Healthy Ageing in Urban Settings

Sunday, 10 July 2016: 11:45
Location: Hörsaal 33 (Main Building)
Oral Presentation
Stefanie BUCKNER, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom
Louise LAFORTUNE, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom
Calum MATTOCKS, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom
Daniel POPE, University of Liverpool, United Kingdom
Mukesh DHERANI, University of Liverpool, United Kingdom
Nigel BRUCE, University of Liverpool, United Kingdom
In the context of rapid population ageing and urbanisation, there has been a growing recognition of the need to ensure that cities are places that foster active and healthy ageing. The WHO has been playing a leading role in supporting relevant endeavours, for example through developing indicators of urban age-friendliness (WHO, 2015).

This paper presents an assessment tool that can be applied in different contexts to guide efforts to make urban settings better suited to an ageing population. Its development was informed by research in Liverpool/UK as a city that has made a commitment to an age-friendly agenda. This involved a mixed methods approach that included interviews and focus groups with older residents and key informants in policy and practice, as well as an analysis of secondary health data. A review of the literature in relation to the findings in Liverpool helped shape the tool.

The tool identifies ten key areas where evidence is required to assess efforts intended to make cities more age-friendly. These include political commitment, leadership and governance structures, availability of resources, and involvement of older people. Rather than serving as a checklist, it offers a recording facility for the evidence gathered. A scale for scoring the initiatives considered on the basis of the available evidence enables the identification of strengths as well as areas for improvement.

In addition to its evidence-based nature, a key strength of the tool is its adaptability. It is being pilot-tested in other urban settings. Designed to be user-friendly, it can be applied by policy makers, service commissioners and practitioners to existing as well as planned initiatives to ensure that cities respond well to demographic change.

WHO 2015. Age-friendly City Core Indicator Guide pilot site meeting. Meeting Report Prepared by the WHO Centre for Health Development, Kobe, Japan.