Planning Age-Friendly Cities

Manchester researchers are part of a network of European cities collaborating on strategies to support the aging population in cities worldwide.

2 minute read

October 9, 2020, 6:00 AM PDT

By Lee Flannery @leecflannery


Two friends sit and talk at a social distance in Fletcher Moss park, Manchester, UK

Edward Crawford / Shutterstock

Older people are benefiting from the planning community's attention to building an age-friendly city in Manchester where one-third of the population will be over the age of 50 by the year 2040. "From designating the Old Moat neighbourhood, a blueprint for urban planning for seniors, to creating an age-friendly design guide for the corporate-development sector, to appointing cultural champions tasked with engaging older people in Manchester’s vibrant arts scene, the region has been a fulcrum of activity," reports Megan Tatum.

The Greater Manchester Ageing Hub team was recently shortlisted for a £40 million U.K. Research and Innovation grant to continue their work. The team is in contact with cities worldwide to learn from successes and compile a collaborative report on projects relating to the aging population across a network of European countries.

According to Tatum, "arguably nowhere has provided quite the insight into how age-friendly cities in the UK might shape up as the high-rise-packed metropolises of Asia," where cities will be home to 60% of the aging population by the year 2030. Asia-Pacific cities have risen to the challenge to provide better living conditions for older people with a number of both grassroots and government-funded projects aiming to increase access to healthcare and improve the quality of living conditions for older people.

The chair and founding director of the Tsao Foundation, Mary-Ann Tsao, says that "the most important thing that needs to change is that awareness and understanding that older people are a part of our community and they’re just as valuable."

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