Thursday, July 01, 2010


IWS Documented News Service
Institute for Workplace Studies----------------- Professor Samuel B. Bacharach
School of Industrial & Labor Relations-------- Director, Institute for Workplace Studies
Cornell University
16 East 34th Street, 4th floor----------------------
Stuart Basefsky
New York, NY 10016 -------------------------------Director, IWS News Bureau


NOTE: NEW YORK CITY is the first city to join the network (see below)


World Health Organization (WHO)


WHO launches global network of age-friendly cities

Urban environments that allow older people to remain active and healthy


Participating Cities


Information on Aging


29 JUNE 2010 | GENEVA -- Today, WHO launches the Global Network of Age-friendly Cities as part of a broader response to the rapid ageing of populations. Populations in almost every corner of the world are growing older. The greatest changes are occurring in less-developed countries. By 2050, it is estimated that 80% of the expected 2 billion people aged 60 years or over will live in low or middle income countries. The Network aims to help cities create urban environments that allow older people to remain active and healthy participants in society.


Positive contribution of older people


While the response to population ageing has often focussed on the implications for governments of increasing demand for pensions and health care, WHO tries to place more emphasis on the positive contributions older people make to society. "Older people are a vital, and often overlooked, resource for families and for society." said Dr John Beard. Director of the Department of Ageing and Life Course at WHO " Their contribution will only be fully realised if they maintain their health and if the barriers that prevent them engaging in family and community life are broken down".


Supporting active and healthy ageing


The WHO Age-friendly Cities initiative began in 2006 by identifying the key elements of the urban environment that support active and healthy ageing. Research from 33 cities, confirmed the importance for older people of access to public transport, outdoor spaces and buildings, as well as the need for appropriate housing, community support and health services. But it also highlighted the need to foster the connections that allow older people to be active participants in society, to overcome ageism and to provide greater opportunities for civic participation and employment.


Cities wishing to join the global network


The Global Network builds on these principles but takes them a significant step further by requiring participating cities to commence an ongoing process of assessment and implementation. Network members are committed to taking active steps to creating a better environment for their older residents.


Since invitations to join the Network were sent out last December, WHO has been swamped by responses. Many individual cities, both large and small have formally applied to join the Network. WHO has also established formal agreements with the French government, the Irish Ageing Well Network and the Slovenian Network of Age-friendly Cities to develop affiliated national programmes. The China National Committee on Ageing has also indicated interest in developing a national programme, and 5 Canadian Provinces are running complementary initiatives.


New York is the first city to join the network and today, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg will be presented with the first certificate of membership.


For more information please contact:


Dr John Beard

Director, Department of Ageing and Life Course

WHO, Geneva

Telephone: + 41 22 791 3404

Mobile: +41 79 517 3672



This information is provided to subscribers, friends, faculty, students and alumni of the School of Industrial & Labor Relations (ILR). It is a service of the Institute for Workplace Studies (IWS) in New York City. Stuart Basefsky is responsible for the selection of the contents which is intended to keep researchers, companies, workers, and governments aware of the latest information related to ILR disciplines as it becomes available for the purposes of research, understanding and debate. The content does not reflect the opinions or positions of Cornell University, the School of Industrial & Labor Relations, or that of Mr. Basefsky and should not be construed as such. The service is unique in that it provides the original source documentation, via links, behind the news and research of the day. Use of the information provided is unrestricted. However, it is requested that users acknowledge that the information was found via the IWS Documented News Service.

Stuart Basefsky                   
Director, IWS News Bureau                
Institute for Workplace Studies 
Cornell/ILR School                        
16 E. 34th Street, 4th Floor             
New York, NY 10016                        
Telephone: (607) 255-2703                
Fax: (607) 255-9641                       



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