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Highlighting the Need for Inclusive Cities on UN International Day of Older Persons

Updated: Feb 14, 2022

Celebrated Annually on October 1st International Day of Older Persons was launched by the United Nations (UN) General Assembly in 1990. The aim is to create a special day that brings global focus to the needs and abilities of older adults in society.

The 2021 theme for the UN International Day of Older Persons is “Digital Equity for All Ages” which affirms the need for access and meaningful participation in the digital world by older persons. Recent research by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) shows that older persons experience digital inequity to a greater extent than other groups in society. This could be due to lack of knowledge, access, skills and even awareness of how digital tools could support their participation and inclusion in urban life.

The URBANAGE project recognises that with the convergence of more people living in cities, and the fact that the average age of urban populations are rising, future cities need to cater for the needs of an older demographic. Project partner, Dr. Patricia Molina, from Tecnalia, recently gave an interview to the prestigious Spanish newspaper, El Mundo, where she highlighted the importance of having older adults directly shaping urban planning decisions. Its only by directly engaging with end-users that you can understand their needs and challenges and help co-create solutions to mitigate them.

For example, older adults in a focus group in Santander recently highlighted the debilitating problem of waiting for public transport or going for walks in hot weather. Solutions such as a digital twin app that highlights where you can find local shade, and/or help planners build shaded areas into their designs helps mitigate the problem in both the short and long term.

The newspaper article below is in Spanish, but if you have any questions around the work of URBANAGE and how it is striving for the inclusivity of older adults in city life, please drop us a line directly using the contact form on our home page.

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