Guidelines for an age-friendly and accessible city

6 December 2019

How can cities make sure to design inclusive urban plans that include all its citizens, especially people with special needs such as elderly people and persons with disability ?

City experts from EUROCITIES working group ‘Urban ageing’ (Social Affairs Forum) and ‘Barrier free cities’ (Mobility Forum), have gathered to identify challenges and success factors of inclusion policies from the city of Ljubljana that could potentially be replicated in other cities. The silver medal winner of Accessible Cities Award – Ljubljana has been developing innovative accessibility practices for the urban built environment in areas such as housing, transportation and access to services.

Based on the exchange of experiences in Ljubljana, participants produced a set of guidelines to help cities to create, implement and monitor actions plans for an age-friendly and accessible city. The guidelines concretely indicate how urban planning should strengthen the inclusion of the elderly and people with disabilities in cities. Recommendations include advices on how to:

– create common rules of understanding in planning for age-friendly accessibility policies;
– build synergies by working across city departments and creating an ecosystem of partners;
– mainstream accessibility and high standards within all urban planning processes;
– use appropriate data to design and inform about accessible public spaces;
– monitor and evaluate progress towards actions plans.

The guidelines also represent a set of key steps geared towards a better implementation of the European disability strategy, the European Pillar of Social Rights and the UN Sustainable Development Goals.