The Age Friendly Cities Programme    

The Age Friendly Cities programme is an international initiative conceived by the World Health Organisation (WHO) in 2005. As the proportion of older residents in cities increases, the WHO sees a correspondingly greater need for them to become age friendly.

The WHO defines an age friendly city in practical terms as one which adapts its structures and services to be accessible to and inclusive of older people with varying needs and capacities. This helps older people to both benefit from and contribute to their local communities.

To enable cities to assess the extent to which they are already age friendly, and to identify areas in which their “age friendliness” could be improved, the WHO has produced a “Checklist of Essential Features of Age Friendly Cities”. This is broken down into the following categories:

To provide an example of what is covered in the checklist, the first three items in the “Outdoor spaces and buildings” category are:

The full checklist is included in “Global Age-Friendly Cities: A Guide”, published by the World Health Organisation (ISBN 978 92 4 154730 7) and available online at:

The WHO has also established a global network of Age Friendly Cities, to enable them to exchange information and best practices.