Creating age-friendly cities

In a new report the McGraw Hill Financial Global Institute (MHFI) argues that we need a new thinking about how to create “age-friendly cities.”

Adapting to the challenges of an aging urban population, they write, requires a fundamental change in the mindset of policymakers and innovators about who’s actually living in these cities and what their needs might be.

The MHFI in partnership with the Global Coalition on Aging, has identified four major principles that can be used to guide the development of the city of the future.

  1. The city of the future should have the infrastructure and transportation links to address the needs of citizens of all generations.
  2. Each city should build new housing options to enable older citizens to “age in place.”
  3. Each city should include access to community health programs with innovative medical technology for seniors.
  4. The city of the future should have plenty of opportunities for continuing work, education, arts and recreation for all ages.

Although these conclusions are quite obvious, the article and the report contain many data and examples, like the city of Bolzano’s collaboration with IBM on a “Living Safe” program, which collects sensor data that will contribute to the development of strategies to keep seniors safe and more independent (see also video above).