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Report urges cities to prepare now for aging trend

By 2030, one in eight people worldwide will be 65 and older. Many of them will live in cities. (Barbara Faludi/Shutterstock.com)

Climate change, infrastructure, housing and mobility are among the pressing concerns that galvanize city leaders. Yet municipal officials are generally less cognizant of another looming challenge: aging demographics.

That’s the conclusion of a new report, Aging and Urbanization: Principles for Creating Sustainable, Growth-Oriented and Age-Friendly Cities, published by the McGraw Hill Financial Global Institute.

The statistics are daunting. By 2030, one in eight people worldwide will be 65 and older, and rapid urbanization means many of them will live in cities. The report recommends a variety of strategies to accommodate seniors, including intergenerational approaches to growth and development.

Local governments are urged to invest in “age-friendly” resources. Examples include community health programs, housing that enables the elderly to “age in place” and recreational options across age brackets.

Some municipalities are taking action. Akita City, Japan and Singapore have implemented initiatives designed to reduce falls among older residents, the report says. Bolzano, Italy is gathering data to help the city shape strategies for promoting the safety and independence of seniors.

Source: 
McGraw Hill Financial Global Institute

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