Population ageing and urbanization are two global trends that together comprise major forces shaping the 21st century. At the same time as cities are growing, their share of residents aged 60 years and more is increasing. Older people are a resource for their families, communities and economies in supportive and enabling living environments.
WHO launched the Global Network of Age-friendly cities in 2011 recognizing the growing importance of the need for healthy ageing of populations in cities. The goals of the network are:
- to provide technical support and training;
- to link cities to WHO and each other;
- to facilitate the exchange of information and best practices; and,
- to ensure that interventions taken to improve the lives of older people are appropriate, sustainable and cost-effective.
In collaboration with partners including the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), the Japan Gerontological Evaluation Study (JAGES) among others, WHO is working to develop a set of indicators for monitoring age-friendliness of cities.
After nearly three years of formative research, the WHO Kobe Centre has completed drafting a new guide on using core indicators for assessing and monitoring the age-friendliness of cities, which is available in English, French, Spanish and Chinese. The draft guide will be piloted in 12 selected sites around the world. The results will feed into the final version of the guide which is expected to be released in 2015.