Consortium to create 'age-friendly' cities
A new consortium has been launched in a bid to create environments which are more tailored to the needs of older people.
The UK's rising life expectancy rates are likely to add to the financial strain facing the country's health system, with those over the age of 65 now the quickest growing age group.
The importance of paying for care in advance of retirement has also been highlighted by offical figures which show that as many as 23% of people could be 65 or above by the year 2035.
In light of this data, Keele University, Manchester City Council and the Beth Johnson Foundation charity have collaborated to create a new group focusing on the creation of more age-friendly environments.
The scheme is designed to improve older people's quality of life in urban areas by encouraging the development of new strategic and practical innovations.
The consortium has already aimed to convert Manchester into the UK's first age-friendly city.
Commenting on the launch of the consortium, Chris Phillipson, professor of social gerontology at Keele University, stated: "We believe that developing new policies and approaches to involving older people in the social and economic life of cities will be a crucial task for urban development and the vitality of urban life in the years ahead.
"Our research shows that cities have a large number of older people who have spent their life in the same neighbourhood. However, they are often the last to be consulted when it comes to decision-making within their area. The forces influencing urban change tend to be focused on the needs of the labour market as cities are increasingly viewed as key drivers for economic growth."
He added: "The development of a nationally-recognised consortium is an exciting next step towards making cities more age-friendly and recognising the needs of different generations within cities."