Working Towards An Age Friendly City


Cardiff can take a step towards becoming Wales's first age-friendly city next week as the authority considers joining a global network of age-friendly communities.


Plans to submit an application to the World Health Organisation to join the global network for Age Friendly Cities and Communities will be discussed by Cabinet on Thursday, October 14.


The WHO network was established in 2010 to connect cities, communities and organisations worldwide, with the common vision of making their community a great place to grow older. The network aims to do this by inspiring change by showing what can be done and how it can be done, connecting cities and communities to facilitate the exchange of information, knowledge and experience; and supporting cities and communities to find appropriate innovative and evidence-based solutions to becoming more age-friendly.


Cabinet Member for Social Care, Health and Wellbeing, Cllr Susan Elsmore, said: "Cardiff is already committed to being a city that's a great place for people to grow older, having signed the Dublin Declaration on Age-Friendly Cities and Communities in Europe in 2013 and having a number of commitments to older people in our Local Well-being Assessment and Action plan.


"We believe we can build further on this though and joining the WHO Network will demonstrate our commitment to the development and sustenance of Age Friendly Environments, which foster healthy and active ageing, while providing the ability to tap into best practice and expertise from more than 1,100 cities and communities across the globe."


Cardiff's rapidly increasing population means that over the next 20 years, the number of citizens aged between 65 and 84 is projected to rise by 44% while the number of over 85-year-olds is expected to nearly double.


Older people will increasingly become an asset to the city, making a significant contribution to the economy, the life of the city and its communities and as the city grows, it will be important that new communities are designed to accommodate the needs of older people.


An ageing population is also far more likely to need health and care services to help them live

independent lives and there are challenges to be managed.


The submission to the WHO includes the ‘Cardiff Working Towards an Age Friendly City Action Plan', which brings together a number of current older person strategies and plans that have been developed across the Public Service Partnership and beyond.


It has been developed based on eight domains set out by the WHO to describe age friendly cities and communities - Outdoor space and public buildings, Housing, Transport, Community Support & Health, Communication & Information, Social Participation, Civic Participation & Employment and  Respect & Social Inclusion.


The plan sets out a series of ‘We Will' pledges including commitments to ensure that Cardiff citizens can live independently, and are connected to their communities, to create resilient communities and develop strong community networks that can support older people to live well and to deliver services in a locality setting, close to citizens homes.


Cllr Elsmore added: "How society treats people as they get older reflects its values and principles and sends an important message to future generations. We believe working towards becoming a WHO Age Friendly City sends out a strong message about our vision for the Welsh capital to be a great place to grow older, where older people are more empowered, healthy and happy, supported by excellent public and community services."