Age-Friendly Cities: A Global Initiative with Local Impact

The age-friendly city movement is taking off in cities and communities around the world – including right here in Louisville.  

Global: Age-Friendly Cities

The Age-Friendly City movement is a global initiative run by the World Health Organization (WHO) that seeks to create an “Age-Friendly World.” According to the WHO:

An age-friendly city encourages active aging by optimizing opportunities for health, participation, and security to enhance the quality of life as people age. In practical terms, an age-friendly city adapts its structures and services to be accessible to and inclusive of older people with varying needs and capacities.[i] 

This powerful and ambitious vision has inspired over 700 cities and communities around the world to dedicate themselves to becoming increasingly age-friendly. While no city is perfect, there is much we can do to continually find new and creative ways to make our community more inclusive and accessible for everyone.

WHO Eight Domains of Livability

In the U.S., the age-friendly city initiative is led by the AARP Network of Age-Friendly Communities.

To be officially recognized as an Age-Friendly City, city officials have to make a formal commitment to continually striving to be more age-friendly. These communities then set to work identifying and developing projects that make their cities better places for people of all ages to live. These projects align with the WHO eight “domains” or areas that encompass both built and social aspects of age-friendliness.

Local: Age-Friendly Louisville

On October 10, 2016, Louisville became the 120th member of the AARP Network of Age-Friendly Communities. Age-Friendly Louisville seeks to make Louisville an accessible and inclusive city for people of all ages and abilities.

The initiative is driven by a philosophy that age-friendly is at its core an intergenerational movement. The initiative seeks to ensure that our social, health, economic, and built environments support individuals in leading lives that thrive from stroller to walker. Age-Friendly Louisville is led in partnership by Louisville Metro Government, AARP Kentucky, KIPDA, and the UofL Institute for Sustainable Health and Optimal Aging.

For the past two years, Age-Friendly Louisville has been working to make Louisville an increasingly age-friendly community – this process has included infusing age-friendly perspective on the Louisville Metro Comprehensive Plan and conducting a community-wide listening tour. 

Based on a year’s worth of community input, the initiative created a three year Strategic Plan that outlines 2 – 3 projects for each of the four domains.

Housing

Mobility & Access
Social Participation,
Respect, & Inclusion

Community Support &
Health Services

Learn More Learn More Learn More Learn More

 
If you have any interest in being part of the Age-Friendly Louisville movement, check out our website to learn more about the initiative and the projects they are working on. There are four workgroups (one for each domain) that are tasked with implementing the various projects outlined in the 2018 Age-Friendly Louisville Strategic Plan. Being part of our workgroups will be a great way to make a difference and to improve the livability of our community for individuals of all ages and abilities. The meeting will be on December 11 from 2 – 4:00 pm at the KIPDA offices. Hope to see you there! 

Click here to RSVP 

Questions about age-friendly cities or Age-Friendly Louisville? Feel free to email me at [email protected] 


Blog Contributor:   

Natalie Pope, MBA, CSW
Marketing & Business Specialist 
University of Louisville
Institute for Sustainable Health & Optimal Aging
Chair, Age-Friendly Louisville
[email protected]


Source: 

[i] World Health Organization. (2007). Global Age-Friendly Cities: A Guide. p. 1 at: http://www.who.int/ageing/publications/Global_age_friendly_cities_Guide_English.pdf

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