Developing Age-Friendly Communities: New Approaches to Growing Old in Urban Environments

  • Chris Phillipson
Part of the Handbooks of Sociology and Social Research book series (HSSR)


Developing what has been termed “age-friendly” communities has become a significant issue for social policy, embracing questions ranging across urban as well as rural environments. The reasons for such attention are not hard to discern and will be assessed in some detail in this chapter. In brief, however, they include: first, the complexity of demographic change, with the emergence of a wide spectrum of housing and community needs among those in the 50 plus age group. Second, the pressures affecting different types of localities, with the impact of accelerated urbanization for some and deindustrialization for others. Third, is acceptance of the importance of the physical and social environment as a factor influential in maintaining the quality of life of older people (Wahl and Oswald 2010). Fourth, is the policy debate about what constitutes “good” or “optimal” places to age, as reflected in the work of the World Health Organization (WHO) around “age-friendly” cities, these defined as encouraging: “…active ageing by optimizing opportunities for health, participation and security in order to enhance the quality of life as people age” (WHO 2007:1).


Urban Environment Global City Urban Living Urban Change Urban Citizenship 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer New York 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Professor of Applied Social Studies and Social Gerontology, Centre for Social GerontologyKeele UniversityKeeleUK

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