A city that senior citizens enjoy living in and which encourages healthy and active ageing– that is the aim of the Age-Friendly City concept.
Amsterdam became part of the WHO worldwide network of Age-friendly cities and communities in 2015. While Amsterdam currently counts ca. 800.000 citizens with 12% older adults (65+ years), this proportion is expected to grow to 16% in 2030. The city aims to use the age friendly initiative to further strengthen and streamline its activities on the topic of demographic change and the ageing population.
The age friendly city programme builds on existing activities by the public administration, including existing practices to engage citizens (including older adults) in policy making, and the (emerging) practice for different departments to combine efforts towards great societal challenges (such as overweight). To organise the Age-Friendly City (AFC) Amsterdam a light project organisation was set up. A multi-disciplinary team was brought together representing the eight domains that play a key part in any age-friendly city: 1. Community and health care, 2. Transportation, 3. Housing, 4. Social participation, 5. Outdoor spaces and buildings, 6. Respect and social inclusion, 7. Civic participation and employment and 8. Communication and information. Based on data a 5-year Action Plan was drawn consisting of four city wide action lines (with targets): 1. Dementia,2. Loneliness,3. Accommodation for the elderly and 4. Falls prevention. In addition a number of pilot areas/neighbourhoods were selected to pilot topics such as 5. Spatial strategies to enhance an age friendly environment.
Around €1.000.000 anually for this program excluding regular fte's working in the area of care, ageing etc. An exact figure can not be provided easily. Depends on frames and definitions.
Evidence of success
The programs, some of which started in 2015, some of which more recently are being monitored. However it is too early to provide quantitative results at this stage. The Amsterdam AFC approach is a 5-year program that will be evaluated around 2020.
The most difficult part of te Amsterdam AFC approach was to realize cooperation between many departments within the municipal organization.
Potential for learning or transfer
Age Friendly programs from around Europe and even Globally are learning a lot from eachother, Projects from one area cannot always be implemented elsewhere but measures from these projects can, and inspiration can be drawn always. Main learning point would be to start with a limited scope and then expand the program slowly to build support and build up evidence for the success of the aproach.