Age-friendly cities

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.

In 2014, 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 was piloted in the following 15 locations around the world to test the usability and usefulness of the guide in diverse contexts.

Banyule (Australia)
Bilbao (Spain)
Bowdoinham (USA)
Dijon (France)
Fishguard/Goodwick (UK)
Hong Kong SAR (China)
La Plata (Argentina)
Nairobi (Kenya)
New Delhi (India)
New Haven (USA)
Shanghai (China)
Tehran (Iran)
Tuymazy (Russia)
Udine (Italy)
Washington DC (USA)

After completing the pilot study, representatives of the pilot sites were convened in WHO Geneva Headquarters on 10-11 June, 2015, for two days of in-depth discussion about the adaptability of the guide and its indicators, and facilitators and challenges in actually measuring the indicators. Based on these inputs, WKC is currently finalizing the guide with the aim to publish it by the end of 2015.


2nd WHO Consultation on Developing Age-friendly City Indicators, 8 September 2013, Québec City, Canada

The WHO Centre for Health Development (WKC) conducted the 2nd Consultation on Developing Age-friendly City Indicators on 8 September, 2013 in Québec City, Canada. This consultation is part of a series of consultations, started in 2012, organized by WKC in an effort to develop new technical guidance on monitoring the “age-friendliness” of cities. The objective of this consultation was to obtain expert opinion on how to advance the development of an age-friendly city monitoring framework and core indicator set.

The consultation was held as a pre-conference meeting to the 2nd International Conference on Age Friendly Cities (9-11 September 2013, Quebec, Canada).

Contact us

World Health Organization Centre for Health Development
1-5-1 Wakinohama-Kaigandori
Chuo-ku, Kobe 651-0073
Telephone: (+81) 78-230-3100
Fax: (+81) 78-230-3178