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Cities advised to plan for growing elderly populations

As more of the world’s people live in cities, policymakers should not forget that a growing number of people will also grow old in cities. That’s the message of Cities and Aging, a policy brief written by the Global City Indicators Facility, a University of Toronto institute with 252 global cities as members, in collaboration with Philips.

The September report notes that the world’s 65-and-over population will expand more than 180 percent by 2050 to nearly 1.5 billion. Parts of Asia and Africa will experience a 366 percent increase in this demographic.

Brisbane and Toronto are among the cities factoring a growing senior population into their planning and decision-making. The brief recommends that more cities foster “age-friendly” environments that feature better accessibility to public places for people using wheelchairs or walkers. Other suggestions include improving access to affordable housing and finding new ways to deliver health care to the urban elderly, as well as creating activities to bring all ages together to ensure that the elderly are not isolated.

Global City Indicators Facility

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