When cities make an effort to accommodate “aging in place,” they typically end up with designs that benefit younger residents too.
Last summer, Next City contributor Jessica Kourkounis asked Philadelphia seniors, “How can your city change to accommodate older residents?” Unsurprisingly, their answers reflected concerns of urbanites of all ages, covering everything from affordable housing to improved social services.
After all, as writer Ted McClelland reported in “The All-Ages City,” “aging baby boomers want many of the same things as millennials. They want to be mobile and social, with easy access to bus stops, grocery stores, parks, pharmacies and hospitals,” noting, “that means cities and suburbs must adapt.”
Cities do need to prepare for an older citizenry. A new report called “Ageing in Cities,” from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), a membership group of 30-plus countries that focuses on the global economy, notes:
In OECD countries, the population share of those over 65 years old reached 17.8 percent in 2010, up from 7.7 percent in 1950, and is expected to climb to 25.1 percent in 2050. Cities are home to 43.2 percent of this older population.
Examining nine OECD cities specifically, from Philadelphia to Toyama, Japan, the report defines sustainable development trends and suggests policies — and points out that while there are challenges to adapting, there’s also opportunity…