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Build Compassionate Communities

Age Friendliness

In 2006, the world health organization (WHO) developed a Global Age-Friendly Cities Project. This project brought together cities from around the world that were interested in supporting healthy aging by becoming more age-friendly. These cities gathered information from seniors, senior care providers and other groups and individuals with an interest in age-friendly communities. This information helped to identify eight key areas of community life in which communities can become more age friendly.

The information below about age-friendly cities is adapted from a publication of the World Health Organization: Global Age-Friendly Cities: A Guide, 2007. 

For more detailed information about each of the categories included in this outline, please refer to the guide, which includes specific suggestions for creating age-friendly environments under each of the topics.


Outdoor Spaces and Buildings

  • Pleasant and clean environment
  • Importance of green spaces
  • Somewhere to rest
  • Age-friendly pavements
  • Safe pedestrian crossings
  • Accessibility
  • A secure environment
  • Walkways and cycle paths
  • Age-friendly buildings


  • Availability
  • Affordability
  • Reliability and frequency
  • Travel destinations
  • Age-friendly vehicles
  • Specialized services for older people
  • Priority seating and passenger courtesy
  • Transport drivers
  • Safety and comfort
  • Transport stops and stations
  • Taxis
  • Community Transport
  • Information
  • Driving conditions
  • Courtesy towards older drivers
  • Parking


  • Affordability
  • Essential services
  • Design
  • Modifications
  • Maintenance
  • Access to Services
  • Community and family connections
  • Housing options
  • Living environment

Social Participation

  • Accessible opportunities
  • Affordable activities
  • Range of opportunities
  • Awareness of activities and events
  • Encouraging participation and addressing isolation
  • Integrating generations, cultures and communities

Respect and Social Inclusion 

  • Respectful and disrespectful behavior
  • Ageism and ignorance
  • Intergenerational interactions and public education
  • Place within the community
  • Helpfulness of the community
  • Place in the family
  • Economic exclusion

Civic Participation and Employment

  • Volunteering options for older people
  • Better employment options and more opportunities
  • Flexibility to accommodate older workers and volunteers
  • Encouraging civic participation
  • Training
  • Entrepreneurial opportunities
  • Valuing older peoples’ contributions

Communication and Information

  • Widespread distribution
  • The right information at the right time
  • Will someone speak to me?
  • Age-friendly formats and design
  • Information technology:  boon and bane
  • Personal and collective responsibility

Community Support and Health Services

  • Accessible care
  • A wider range of health services
  • Ageing well services
  • Home care
  • Residential facilities for people unable to live at home
  • A network of community services
  • Volunteers wanted
  • Other issues


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