Age-friendly cities

Age-friendly Bilbao/3D Social Movement

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 and Communities in 2011, recognizing the growing importance of the need to create community environments that are supportive of healthy ageing.

Many cities and communities around the world are now taking the initiative to make such positive changes, either as part of WHO’s global initiative or even independently.


Measuring the age-friendliness of cities: A guide to using core indicators

Indicators are a useful tool for baseline assessments, target setting, monitoring and evaluation. Building upon its expertise in urban health metrics development, the WHO Kobe Centre produced a guide on using core indicators for assessing and monitoring the age-friendliness of cities. The core indicators were selected through a process that involved desk-top research, expert consultations, field tests and peer review over a 3-year period.

The original document was developed in English. It is also translated into Chinese, French, and Spanish. All language versions of the Age-friendly City Indicator Guide can be downloaded here.

Unofficial Japanese translations of Figures 1 and 2 in the guide, which present the indicator framework and the core indicators, respectively, are available on the corresponding Japanese website:

In the final stage of developing the indicator guide, WKC conducted a pilot test in 15 locations around the world to test the usability and usefulness of the guide in diverse contexts. The pilot sites were: 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); and 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. The outcomes from the pilot study informed the finalization of the indicator guide.

The reports of the pilot site meeting and the two expert consultations that preceded it are available for download:

Toward More Age-friendly Cities: The example of Bilbao (Spain)

One of the pilot sites, Bilbao city in the northern part of Spain, identified access to public transportation as one of their priorities. Read more >>


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