The Institute on Aging in the School of Community Health, College of Urban and Public Affairs at Portland State University (PSU) in Portland, Oregon were invited to collaborate with the World Health Organization (WHO) on its “Age-Friendly Cities Project.”
The WHO defines an age-friendly city as one that:
• Recognizes the great diversity among older persons
• Promotes older persons’ inclusion and contributions in all areas of community life
• Respects older persons’ decisions and lifestyle choices, and
• Anticipates and responds flexibly to aging-related needs and preferences
Portland was the only city in the United States to participate in the study, along with 32 other cities in 22 countries in North and South America, Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australia.
The goal of the project in Portland was to identify concrete indicators of an age-friendly city and produce a practical guide to stimulate and guide advocacy, community development, and policy change to make urban communities around the world age-friendly. Each participating city’s results will be used by the WHO in its booklet, Global Age-Friendly Cities: A Guide, released on October 1, 2007. The results from each city, as well as the WHO guide, are intended to inform citizens, policy makers, businesses, and social and health service providers as they strive to make their own cities more age-friendly.