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Many cities and communities worldwide have been taking active steps towards becoming more age-friendly. The WHO has developed the "Global Database of Age-friendly Practices" as a platform for cities and communities to share information of age-friendly practices.
City-wide Initiatives
Domain-specific Initiatives

Canberra, Australia

The Australian Capital Territory's (ACT) Strategic Plan for Positive Ageing has been developed to lay down a blueprint for Canberra to support positive ageing and an age-friendly city. Seven strategic priority areas which aligned with the WHO domains of age-friendliness were identified in the Strategic Plan.

A number of initiatives and actions have been implemented. Examples include:
  • "Seniors Information Online", which is an online platform providing information for seniors on a variety of areas such as legal and safety, health and well-being, accommodation, recreation, lifelong learning and volunteering
  • The annual Canberra Gold Award that recognises and honours the contribution of centenarians who have made long-term commitment to the ACT
  • Publishing of the ACT Business Guides to Older Customers and to Mature Workers
  • The launch of Older Persons Assembly representing Canberra's older persons community to discuss resolutions to improve the age-friendliness of ACT.

Website :
http://www.communityservices.act.gov.au/wac/ageing

Chiayi, Taiwan

In September 2011, Chiayi participated in the signing of the Dublin Declaration on Age-Friendly Cities in the First WHO International Conference on Age-friendly Cities to show its commitment in creating an ageing-friendly city. In 2014, Chiayi City Healthy City Promotion Association joined the membership of the International Federation of Ageing (IFA) which is one of the affiliated programmes under the WHO Global Network of Age-friendly Cities and Communities.
 
Chiayi government was dedicated to building an age-friendly city in accordance with the WHO domains of age-friendliness. Relevant departments have been engaged in collaboration with universities, local research institutes, and non-governmental organisations in drafting action plans and promoting the age-friendly city projects through various community engagement activities.

The following achievements have been made:
  • Setting up health check stations in community centres and convenience stores
  • Rendering pick-up and transportation services for elders to attend events
  • Training employees in the service sector to show respect for elderly people
  • Organising the "Grandparents Festival"
  • Providing vocational training courses and subsidy to older people

Website :
http://www.chiayi.gov.tw/agefriendly/eproject_02_01.asp

La Plata, Argentina

La Plata has been committed to improving the city's age-friendliness since 2006. As part of the WHO Global Age-friendly Cities project, La Plata conducted a participatory baseline assessment in 2007 that led to the development of the Global Age-friendly Cities Guide.
 
Major works done by La Plata on improving age-friendliness in relation to accessibility and safety include installation of traffic lights with countdowns for pedestrian crossings, improving signposting and identification of bus stops, introduction of magnetic cards with bus fare discount for older people, and installation of safety cameras.

Website:
https://extranet.who.int/agefriendlyworld/network/la-plata/

London, Canada

The City of London was the first city in Canada to join the WHO Global Network of Age-friendly Cities and Communities in 2010. The Age-friendly London Task Force, which consists of volunteers of older adults, was set up to establish a vision of making London an age-friendly city, identify strategies for achieving the vision, and develop an action plan. Eight working groups based on the WHO domains of age-friendliness were also established to implement the initiatives of the action plan.
 
An example that addressed the transportation domain was the development of an education and training programme for all drivers on how to be sensitive to the needs of older adults and those with disabilities. Examples of community-driven changes were advocacy efforts to accelerate the construction of multi-purpose recreation facilities and the opportunities for older adults to participate in the design or redesign of community centres.

Website :
http://www.london.ca/agefriendly

Louth, Ireland

The Louth Age-friendly County Initiative aims to address the WHO's eight domains of an age-friendly city and implement age-friendly projects to address older people's needs across the county of Louth. On physical environment, Louth has extended the timing of traffic lights for older people and improved housing support services such as provision of meals and laundry facilities. In terms of social services, there have been increased opportunities of volunteer services for older people, and provision of training programmes for older people to learn how to use the Internet.

A range of county-wide projects and initiatives were also implemented, including:
  • The Intergenerational Participatory Arts Project involving retirement groups and school students working together to create artworks
  • The Louth Old People’s Forum (which is joined by older people, advocacy groups, service providers and community stakeholders) that organises regular meetings to discuss the needs of older people

Website :
http://agefriendlyireland.ie/map/louth-age-friendly/

Manchester, United Kingdom

Manchester was the first UK city to join the WHO Global Network of Age-friendly Cities and Communities in 2010. Building on the Valuing Older People programme and the ten-year Manchester Ageing Strategy, the Age-friendly Manchester Development Plan centres around four themes: Age-friendly Neighbourhoods, Knowledge and Innovation, Age-friendly Services, and Involvement and Communication.
 
Adopting a citizenship-based approach, the Plan involves citizens as active members who lead the changes and includes a number of initiatives. For example, the Age-friendly Manchester Neighbourhood coordination group was set up as a platform for local groups and services to learn about ageing-related research, policy and practice. The older people were trained as community researchers to identify important issues to develop age-friendliness.
 
Besides, the membership in the Manchester Older People's Forum has been expanded so that members had more opportunities to influence service redesign across the city through setting meeting agendas and developing core priorities. The Age-friendly Manchester Older People's Charter has recently been launched to illustrate what is required for an age-friendly city and to call for pledges from individuals and organisations to help improve the age-friendliness of Manchester.

Website :
http://www.manchester.gov.uk/agefriendly

Qiqihar, China

As part of the national programme, the city of Qiqihar aims to build a city where older people can live happily through better medical care, contribution to society and engagement in life-long learning.
 
Qiqihar has made efforts on age-friendly work. To arouse public awareness on age-friendly concepts, the annual event of "Seniors Month" was initiated to encourage various sectors of the community, including various enterprises, organisations and individuals, to provide suitable assistance and services to older people. An annual award has been introduced with the aim of recognising the role models of the service industry for their respect towards older people.

Website: 
https://extranet.who.int/agefriendlyworld/network/qiqihar/

Seoul, Republic of Korea

The "2020 Aging Society Master Plan" is a ten-year plan of the Seoul Metropolitan Government to embrace the vision of making Seoul an age-friendly city by 2020. To foster a "friendly society for ageing", the Master Plan focuses on six main areas: healthy ageing, active living, productive senior citizens, an integrated society, convenient surroundings, and a redesigning infrastructure. The Age-friendliness Working Plan was established to address the main areas by implementing a number of tasks, such as discovery of diverse new jobs for seniors, and introducing a scheme that places college students and seniors in a house-share, where students provide seniors with basic day-to-day support in exchange for low rent.
 
The city has been running the Seoul Elderly Policy Monitoring Group since 2012 in order to provide more opportunities for older people to get involved in making policy decisions. Seniors' awareness of the city's senior policies is monitored and evaluated through survey assessment.
 
Website :
http://afc.welfare.seoul.kr/afc/sub01/e-sub01.action

Akita, Japan

Domain: Transportation

Bus Coin Project

Older people in Akita are entitled to ride a bus at an affordable price of 100 yen or are provided with free alternative transportation. Feedback on the programme has been positive. In particular, the simplicity in paying bus fares and more convenient access to social activities and healthcare services are highly valued by elderly people.

Website :
https://extranet.who.int/agefriendlyworld/coin-bus-project/

Basque Country (four towns - Ordizia, Orio, Zumarraga and Hondarribia), Spain

Domain: Respect and Social Inclusion

Age-friendly Business

The Age-friendly Business initiative is an educational outreach campaign that provides practical tips to help businesses become more age-friendly and attract older customers (e.g. providing information on how businesses can provide quality service for older adults with difficulty of mobility, vision and hearing impairments and dementia). Participating businesses receive a window sticker with the slogan "We are friendly". They are also included in an Age-Friendly Business Guide developed in 2015 and the web-based Age-Friendly Places Map.

Website :
https://extranet.who.int/agefriendlyworld/age-friendly-business-guide-in-basque-country/

Belfast, United Kingdom

Domain: Civic Participation and Employment

Age-friendly Belfast Older Volunteer Awards

Senior citizen volunteers received awards of appreciation and recognition of their voluntary contributions and positive impacts they have made to the work of a wide variety of organisations and groups in Belfast. There are five different award categories, which include Participation Award, Arts and Culture Award, Older Volunteer of the Year Award, Team or Group Award, and Intergenerational Team Award.

Website :
http://www.belfastcity.gov.uk/community/Volunteering/oldervolunteerawards.aspx

Muratpasa Municipality, Turkey

Domain: Social Participation

Elder Home

The "Elder Home" initiative is a home-based service model that provides older people with opportunities to socialise and improve their skills and capabilities through a series of activities held in the Elder Home every day. These include poetry and book reading, arts and craft courses, as well as choir, theatre, and dance performances. Other educational programmes and sporting events are also held at the Elder Home.

Three Elder Home branches were established in lower-class, middle-income and high-income neighbourhoods respectively to cater for different needs of older people. Some participants reported that they have become more productive, more sociable and happier.

Website :
https://extranet.who.int/datacol/custom_view_report.asp?survey_id=3536&view_id=6302&respondent_id=275586

New York City, USA

Domain: Outdoor Spaces and Buildings

CityBench Programme

The CityBench Programme is an initiative to increase public seating around New York City, especially for the elderly and the disabled. In addition to encouraging New Yorkers to request a bench where they see a lack of seating, the programme has identified priority bench locations for installation, including bus stops without shelters, sidewalks near transit facilities (e.g. subway stations), senior centres, hospitals and community health centres, commercial zones and shopping districts, as well as municipal facilities (e.g., public libraries, schools).

Website :
http://www.nyc.gov/html/dot/html/pedestrians/citybench.shtml
 


Domain: Communication and Information

Age-friendly College

An online database, namely "Age-friendly NYC College Link", has been developed to enable older adults to have more education opportunities. The database provides information of courses, programmes, activities, events and resources to older adults at local colleges and universities. Examples include: senior discounts or free access to courses and campus events; classes in computer technology, money management, foreign languages, and many other subjects; job skills training programmes; public lecture series; and other programmes designed especially for older adults.

Website :
http://www.agefriendlycollege.org/content/about-database

Odivelas, Portugal

Domain: Respect and Social Inclusion

"School crossing patroller"

Retired people were trained and assigned to Odivelas country schools as patrollers. They would receive daily wages and bus passes for their work. This project ensures the safety of students when crossing the street while also promoting active and healthy ageing of older people in the county.

Website :
https://extranet.who.int/datacol/custom_view_report.asp?survey_id=3536&view_id=6302&respondent_id=275593

Oslo, Norway

Domain: Community support and health services

Recognising Volunteering Seniors

The Council for Senior Citizens hosted a conference for volunteering seniors in April 2015 in which senior citizen volunteers received awards of appreciation and recognition of their voluntary contributions. During the conference, new volunteers were also recruited to promote voluntary work across the city. The Council for Senior Citizens aims to make this a regular event given the positive feedback received.

Website :
https://extranet.who.int/datacol/custom_view_report.asp?survey_id=3536&view_id=6302&respondent_id=275601

Ottawa, Canada

Domain: Social Participation

Computer Training Curriculum for Older Adults

The Ottawa Public Library developed a computer literacy and internet safety curriculum for older adults, which covered modules ranging from using a mouse to searching the Internet and using web-based email. A "train the trainer" approach was developed to train community volunteers to present the programmes to older adults in community centres and seniors' residences. This initiative not only improves residents’ access to city information, but also enhances social inclusion and social participation.

Website :
http://biblioottawalibrary.ca/en/infonet

Perth, City of Melville, Australia

Domain: Respect and Social Inclusion

Age-friendly Garden City Shopping Centre

The City of Melville developed a project "Age-Friendly Garden City Shopping Centre" in partnership with one of the biggest shopping centres called "Garden City". The project aims to encourage local businesses to implement age-friendly and accessible initiatives to support older population and people with disabilities, such as providing large print customer directory.

Website :
http://www.melvillecity.com.au/seniors

Waterloo, Canada

Domain: Housing

Older Adults Housing Directory

The Mayor's Advisory Committee of Age-friendly Waterloo presented an action plan to develop the city to be a sustainable, age-friendly community. One of the recommendations was to develop an older adult housing directory. In addition to basic information such as contact details, cost, number of units, unit sizes and level of care available, this directory also provides information about amenities at different locations and in the surrounding neighbourhood.

Website :
http://www.waterloo.ca/agefriendly

Wellawaya, Sri Lanka

Domain: Community Support and Health Services

Eye camps for older people

The target participants of the eye camps are older people living in Wellawaya who are at risk of losing their eye-sight due to cataract, and those who are experiencing deteriorate vision but cannot afford glasses or surgery.

A mobile eye camp is a converted bus that is fully equipped with screening facilities and a team of professionals. It travels to pre-selected venues within the city to help older people test their eye-sight and provides them with free glasses, guidance on proper eye care and referral to eye hospitals for free cataract surgeries if necessary. The local community can play a part in the coordinating work and contribute by providing space for the eye camps. Many older people benefited from this initiative which has become an ongoing practice in Wellawaya.

Website :
https://extranet.who.int/datacol/custom_view_report.asp?survey_id=3536&view_id=6302&respondent_id=275560

Initiated and funded by:

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Project partners:

  • The Chinese University of Hong Kong
  • The University of Hong Kong
  • Lingnan University
  • The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
  • Jockey Club Institute of Ageing
  • Sau Po Centre on Ageing
  • Asia-Pacific Institute of Ageing Studies
  • Institute of Active Ageing
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