How Kids Would Make Age-Friendly Cities2018-02-02
The phenomenon of population ageing continues to dominate the news, especially when it comes to providing adequate supports for older people as this population grows. According to Next Avenue, "by 2060, if not before, the United States is expected to have twice as many people over 65 than today, rising to nearly 24% of the population."
Age-friendly cities and communities are laying the groundwork, investing in technology, and envisioning infrastructure that is needed to support a demographic shift that is already in progress. These communities are future-oriented as well, looking to young people who will one day be "older" to shift attitudes about ageing, and establish safe and inclusive spaces for older people.
Intergenerational collaboration in the creation of age-friendly cities is necessary for long-term success, and many organizations, including Generations United out of Washington DC, are already realizing the importance of fostering intergenerational relationships.
The Future City competition, from DiscoverE, invited kids to design virtual cities and 3D models, encouraging them to be excited by innovation and technology. This year's theme, the Age-friendly City, aims to come up with inventive solutions to barriers to access and independence that are found in many urban environments. One of the intended outcomes of this competition is to foster continued community involvement in age-friendly environments as competitors enter the workforce.
As more cities work to become age-friendly, promoting greater involvement of all ages in establishing age-friendly environments highlights the importance of shifting societal beliefs about getting older and creating communities where every person, no matter their age, feels secure.
Learn more about age-friendly environments, including technology and innovation, and creating age-friendly spaces from age-friendly experts at the International Federation on Ageing Expert Center.