The Idea of Age-Friendly Cities and Communities As the Answer for Global Trends of Aging Societies

Saturday, July 19, 2014: 10:30 AM
Room: F206
Oral Presentation
Grzegorz GAWRON , Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute of Sociology, University of Silesia, Katowice, Katowice, Poland
Paulina ROJEK-ADAMEK , Department of Pedagogy, Andrzej Frycz Modrzewski University, Krakow, Poland
The aging process is great and unheard of in the past, challenge for governments, economies and societies. This means the need to meet the needs of the growing group of people with specific requirements, with full rights and legitimate aspirations for decent quality of life and mobility.

Effective management in this area is primarily a matter of the reform of health insurance, tax and retirement system, or other distribution of funds. Of course, these changes are important, but we should take various measures to create friendly environment for the elderly: social solutions conducive to maintaining an active lifestyle and innovative projects allowing for broad independent.

The answer to this can be the concept of Age-friendly Cities and Communities (AFC) which was conceived in 2005 at the XVIII IAGG World Congress of Gerontology and Geriatrics in Rio de Janeiro. It immediately attracted enthusiastic interest, and in 2010 has transformed into The WHO Global Network of Age-friendly Cities and Communities to foster the exchange of experience and mutual learning between cities and communities worldwide. The Network has identified eight domains of city life that might influence the health and quality of life of older people: outdoor spaces and buildings; transportation; housing; social participation; respect and social inclusion; civic participation and employment; communication and information; and community support and health services. Members of the network must implement a variety of activities in this area. Currently membership spans across 20 countries with a total of 115 cities and communities. The proposed speech will be a presentation of the idea of AFC as a response to the needs of life in aging societies. The theoretical analysis will be supplemented with the presentation of examples of implementation of the AFC in selected European cities to show the variety of actions.