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Manchester Institute for Collaborative Research on Ageing

Chris Phillipson comments to CityLab on 'age-friendly' cities and the need to tackle inequality and poverty.

15 February 2018

Following on from the recent publication of 'Age Friendly Cities and Communities: A Global Perspective', CityLab writes about the further work that needs to be done in expanding the age friendly cities movement to low income households and impoverished communities.

The Citylab article identifies how the age friendly city movement or the “village movement” is mostly prevalent in more affluent areas and communities. Whilst as the article quotes Chris Phillipson: “Inequalities often grow worse as we age. It’s hard to be an older person if you’ve had a lifelong experience of poverty.”

Citylab and Chris identify that a key step in tackling these issues is to involve older residents in urban design. The article also recognises the work of Tine Buffel in using 123 older Manchester residents as “co-researchers” who worked with the university and local authorities to fill the needs they documented when they conducted interviews with their counterparts. The co-researchers liased with other older people who live in social isolation, poverty and limited mobility.

Chris commented to MICRA: “The age-friendly movement is developing an important agenda for improving the lives of older people living in urban and rural communities. However, greater emphasis must be given to the different types of inequality affecting the lives of older people and the impact of these on the neighbourhoods in which they live”

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