With the global population ageing rapidly, with 25% of the population expected to be over the age of 60 by 2050, and with three out of every five people expected to live in an urban area by 2030, the imperative to ensure cities and communities can meet the needs of older people is clear.
A new book entitled Age-Friendly Cities and Communities: A Global Perspective, published by researchers at the U.K.'s University of Manchester wants to ensure that older people with lower incomes and poorer health status are addressed in the age-friendly cities movement. Over the past two decades, and after the World Health Organization establish the Global Network for Age-Friendly Cities and Communities, there has been major growth in the movement.
Despite this need, the authors of this new book argue that the majority of work around age-friendly communities has benefited healthy, high-income individuals while leaving out the communities that are most in need of support and infrastructure repairs. This was reaffirmed by one of the authors, Chris Phillipson, who stated "it's hard to be an older person if you've had a lifelong experience of poverty."
Phillipson also stressed that accommodating those with cognitive and physical disabilities is an important step in establishing more inclusive age-friendly communities.
The IFA is invested in ensuring that age-friendly cities and communities are developed that address the inequalities experienced by often neglected groups of older people. The Expert Centre has several experts who can speak to the importance of urban equality in age-friendly community design. Simply click on one of their icons to arrange an interview.
Prof. Suzanne Garon Professor
Ph. D. in Sociology (Frankfurt, Germany, 1992) is a full professor at the School of Social Work of the University of Sherbrooke
Dr. Debra Whitman Chief Public Policy Officer
Debra Whitman, PhD, is an economist and expert on aging issues with extensive experience in national policymaking and global research.
Dr. Jane Barratt Secretary General
As Secretary General of the IFA Dr Barratt is an internationaly respected speaker on age related issues across the globe.