Age-Friendly Cities and Communities

The World Health Organization (WHO) established the Age-Friendly Cities and Communities direction in 2007 publishing the Global Age-friendly Cities document which continues to influence international, national, state and local government directions.

The Global Network for Age-friendly Cities and Communities was formed in 2010 with the vision of making communities great places to grow old in with the full participation of older people in community life, characterised by healthy and active ageing. They do this by:

  • inspiring change by showing what can be done and how it can be done
  • connecting cities and communities worldwide to facilitate the exchange of information, knowledge and experience; and
  • supporting cities and communities to find appropriate innovative and evidence-based solutions.

We have actively supported this direction and were involved in the initial development work. We provide assistance to councils to make their communities more aged-friendly.

A number of Victorian councils have joined the Global Network of Age-friendly Cities and Communities including Macedon Ranges, Cardinia, Boroondara, Banyule, Warrnambool, Mornington Peninsula and Maroondah councils.

We have run a number of events to promote the age-friendly direction to councils which can be found on our past event presentations page.

The Age-friendly Communities in the New Ageing Context event held on 30 November 2017 provided an opportunity for councils to showcase local government activity in their age-friendly work.

Global Strategy and Plan of Action on Ageing and Health

In 2016, the MAV with assistance from the YMCA hosted Dr John Beard, Director of Ageing and Life Course with the World Health Organization to present to councillors, CEOs and senior council staff.

Dr Beard spoke about the Global Strategy and what it means for healthy ageing at all levels of government particularly on council activities in positive ageing. This session presented a global perspective on healthy ageing and provided an opportunity to explore the role of local and state government in achieving age-friendly environments.

Internationally, the Draft Global Strategy and Plan of Action on Ageing and Health developed by the World Health Organization focuses on what can be done for people in the second half of their lives recognising that all levels of government have an important role in healthy ageing. The 2016-2020 Strategy suggests two goals:

  • five years of evidence-based action to maximise functional ability that reaches every person
  • by 2020, establish evidence and partnerships necessary to support a Decade of Healthy Ageing from 2020 to 2030.

Specifically the strategy focuses on five objectives:

  • commitment to action on Healthy Ageing in every country
  • developing age-friendly environments
  • aligning health systems to the needs of older populations
  • developing sustainable and equitable systems for providing long-term care (home, communities, institutions), and
  • improving measurement, monitoring and research on Healthy Ageing.

Councils in Victoria are encouraged to prepare for the Decade of Healthy Ageing from 2020-2030.

Age-Friendly Cities and Communities Information Kit for Local Government

Developed by COTAVic (Council of the Ageing) and the MAV, with funding from the RACV, this Information kit (PDF - 15.63MB) supports local government to continue the age-friendly momentum and in particular to support councillors and senior management to lead and activate a whole-of-council response.