【FOCUS】Developing Age-friendly Cities and Communities

The two decisive demographic trends of the 21st century are rapid urbanization and aging. Cities all over the world are dealing with how to better overcome the changes brought about by these two challenges. In the face of aging, how to explore the potential of the elders and cities and provide the elders with appropriate public social resources and humanistic environment is particularly important. SDG3 also mentions the global need to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages. This week's IN FOUCUS will introduce five cases of innovative cities that actively respond to aging.

Frankfurt, Germany

Silver Screen Festival

Staff at the public health agency of the City of Frankfurt and the University of Heidelberg have collaborated to launch the Silver Screen Festival. The Festival promotes the idea of healthy ageing and improving quality of life for older people. The main activity is based around showing films to intergenerational audiences in community groups, schools, and cinemas. The films screened portray positive images of older people, and interaction through a mixture of activities, e.g., having a Silver Screen Lounge with tea and coffee, film discussions with directors, actors, film experts or other interested local partners working in the field of health promotion for older people. This project creates new opportunities for social exchange between older and younger people and implements cultural activities that invite all generations to meet, get to know, and learn from each other. It is important to show that ageing does not have to be seen merely as being connected to limitations and restrictions, but can also involve new outlooks, curiosity, and opportunities.

More info: https://use.metropolis.org/case-studies/silver-screen-festival 

Originally published on use: urban sustainability exchange. use is an open knowledge exchange platform dedicated to sustainable city making. 
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Nice, France

27 Delvalle: An Urban Health Living Lab

Nice has a high proportion of senior citizens for a city of its size with 28% of residents over 60. As a result, the city is dealing with healthcare challenges posed by an ageing population at a level Subsequently, access to high quality healthcare and notably at-home care has become a priority for the city's administration. The City of Nice is responding to a growing community need for providing senior citizens with quality at home healthcare by establishing a center dedicated to digital health innovation.

The project brings together healthcare stakeholders to create tools and services for senior citizens to enable independent living. At the center's living-lab, users are directly involved in the evaluation and testing of new products and services. An e-Health Business Innovation Centre and co-working space is supporting start-ups and boosting the creation of new jobs in the "silver economy".

More info: https://use.metropolis.org/case-studies/nice-fosters-healthcare-innovation 

Originally published on use: urban sustainability exchange. use is an open knowledge exchange platform dedicated to sustainable city making. 
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City of Brussels, Belgium

the Service de Seniors

In 2018 the population of the City of Brussels reached 179,277. Around 11% of the city's population was aged 65 and over, and this proportion is expected to remain stable for the next few years. A key development was the creation of the Service de Seniors, a public service targeted at older city residents. This comprises a dedicated team of people supporting varied initiatives and partnerships to improve older people's quality of life as well as promoting their participation.

The wide range of supported age-friendly events and activities are provided. There are seven social opening and meeting places for older people, aimed at promoting meetings between older people and intergenerational encounters, providing relevant and targeted information on the needs of older people, promoting learning opportunities such as computer and language courses, offering sports activities, and identifying vulnerable groups and barriers to participation.

More info: https://extranet.who.int/agefriendlyworld/resources/age-friendly-case-studies/city-of-brussels/

Dijon, France

Age-friendly City Projects

Dijon is a medium-sized city in the central Bourgogne-Franche-Comté region of France, the number aged 85 and above has almost doubled over the past 20 years. One of the challenges over the next decade will be providing care and support to people as they age.

Dijon has developed a range of focused implementation projects to promote its evolution into an age-friendly city. Older people, for example, can visit The Older people's house, a space dedicated to welcoming, informing, orienting, and helping anyone needing support with an ageing-related issue. The Older people's house aims to be a key resource for all the community, including older people, their families, and professionals. Residents can stop by in person or phone to ask questions, meet with a professional, learn more about the city's services and take part in various cultural and leisure activities. The building also provides a physical place for people involved in the age-friendly movement to meet and exchange information.

More info: https://extranet.who.int/agefriendlyworld/resources/age-friendly-case-studies/dijon/

Hong Kong, China

The Elder Academy Scheme

In Hong Kong, the proportion aged 65 and over is projected to rise from 14.7% in 2014 to 30% in 2034. Many of today's older Hong Kong population spent their lives working long hours, which inevitably restricted their community and social interaction. Loneliness is commonly reported and encouraging active participation in community life is therefore seen as essential to building and maintaining social connectedness between older people and society.

The Elder Academy scheme is an education and social inclusion initiative held by The Labour and Welfare Bureau and the Elderly Commission. The activities provide access to learning opportunities in schools and university campuses and are aimed primarily at older people who have had little or no education. The scheme optimizes the use of existing educational facilities and has been successful in promoting both lifelong and initial learning for older people, encouraging participation, and helping to maintain physical and mental wellbeing. School and university students are engaged in the scheme, thereby also promoting civic education and intergenerational understanding. Currently, some 125 elder academies in various districts and seven tertiary institutions offer a wide variety of courses.

More info: https://extranet.who.int/agefriendlyworld/resources/age-friendly-case-studies/hong-kong/