25th International Day of Older Persons: Sustainability and Age Inclusiveness in the Urban Environment
The 2015 celebration of the 25th anniversary of International Day of Older Persons (IDOP), in anticipation of the third United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat III) to be held in 2016, will focus not only on the impact of the new urban environment on older persons, but also the impact of older persons on the new urban environment.
Already, the move of people worldwide to cities is happening at a record pace, with 6 out of every 10 people in the world expected to reside in urban areas by 2030. Consistent with the phenomenon of urbanization, the number of older persons is increasing most rapidly in urban areas of developing countries. The combined effect of both phenomena means that the number of people over 60 living in cities may grow to over 900 million by 2050 – making up a quarter of the total urban population in developing countries .
In principle, these trends offer older persons prospects for improving their quality of life. Well planned cities are more likely to provide income generating and education opportunities, in addition to housing and urban environments that are more accessible and safe for older persons, including the incorporation of age-friendly features in public facilities. This includes access to affordable, reliable, safe and physically accessible transportation, which is one of the cornerstones of older persons’ participation, independence and social inclusion.
The 2015 IDOP celebration seeks to demonstrate that an age inclusive agenda is crucial for sustainable urban environments to promote equity, welfare and shared prosperity for all.
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