Documents to download

Proportion of population aged 65+

By 2050, 89% of the UK’s population will live in cities and 24% will be aged over 65. Older people participate in society in many ways and are estimated to contribute between £40bn and £61bn a year to the UK economy. As the number of older people living in cities increases, there is growing recognition that cities need to become ‘age-friendly’ to help people remain independent and active as they age, and improve the quality of life and health of older people.

Key points in this POSTnote include:

  • The UK population is ageing and many older people are living in major towns and cities.
  • Age-friendly cities aim to support active and healthy living into older age. Twelve cities in the UK are members of a global network of age-friendly cities.
  • The physical environment plays a key role in making cities better places for older people. Research shows that accessibility and safety are important factors in making housing, outdoor spaces and transport more age-friendly.
  • There is a lack of robust evidence about the effectiveness of proposed interventions.
  • Challenges for delivering age-friendly cities include negative public attitudes towards older people, infrastructure costs and a lack of skills and coordination in local planning.

Acknowledgements

POSTnotes are based on literature reviews and interviews with a range of stakeholders and are externally peer reviewed. POST would like to thank interviewees and peer reviewers for kindly giving up their time during the preparation of this briefing, including:

  • Máire Cox, University of Edinburgh*
  • Catherine Foot, Centre for Ageing Better
  • David Sinclair, International Longevity Centre*
  • Claudia Wood, Demos
  • Paul McGarry, Manchester City Council
  • Damian Utton, Pozzoni Architects*
  • Chris Whitty, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
  • Toby Williamson, Mental Health Foundation
  • Kellie Payne, Campaign to End Loneliness
  • Marcus Ormerod and Rita Newton, University of Salford*
  • Stephen Burke, United for All Ages
  • Jeremy Hughes and Emma Bould, Alzheimer’s Society*
  • James Goodwin, Age UK*
  • Anthea Tinker, Kings College London*
  • Sarah Harper, Oxford Institute of Population Ageing*
  • Chris Phillipson, University of Manchester*
  • Nick Tyler, University College London*
  • Professor Phil Blythe, Chief Scientific Adviser, Department for Transport*
  • Rebecca Jones, Government Office for Science*
  • Mehboob Umarji, Department for Communities and Local Government*

*Denotes people who acted as external reviewers of the briefing.


Documents to download

Related posts

  • Devices with screens include game consoles, laptops and televisions. Screen use refers to activities undertaken on such devices and the time spent on them. Children’s screen use has increased over the past decade. Policy-makers and parents have expressed concerns about possible effects of screen use on children/young people’s development and health. This POSTnote provides an overview of how children/young people use screens, the opportunities and risks of this use, evidence on the possible effects on health and development, and evidence on ways to support healthy screen use.

  • Media headlines have predicted an increase in mental ill health among NHS staff during the COVID-19 pandemic. This POSTnote gives an overview of the scale and quality of current evidence on the mental health and well-being of NHS staff before and during the pandemic. It also discusses how staff are supported and the options for introducing other effective interventions as the pandemic continues.