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Ageing in cities: Policy highlights

This report provides policy makers with insights and tools to mitigate the challenges of ageing societies and make the most of the opportunities they present. Three considerations underpin the assessment. First, ageing societies are not “a problem” as such. Longevity is the result of socioeconomic development and can provide opportunities for growth, such as through technological development. Second, ageing societies are not simply societies of “older people”. Cities, where older people live with a high quality of life, can be good places for any generation. Third, unlike other potential challenges, such as a financial crisis or natural disaster, ageing trends and their impact can be fairly predictable. Cities can thus take action now to prepare for future demographic changes. Those cities at the forefront in addressing these changes offer useful experiences for others. Policies for ageing societies are thus not only about responding to today’s needs and opportunities, but also about anticipating the future population structure, and the economic and social pathways for a smooth transition. Cities are essential partners for effective policy action in ageing societies and offer inspiring examples. Ultimately, cities are striving, in the face of increasing demographic pressures, to enhance their attractiveness to households and firms. Efforts to promote wellbeing for their residents, whether young or old, will help them not only support increasing numbers of older people as effectively and efficiently as possible, but also attract the younger people that they need to ensure continued economic and social dynamism. Ultimately, policies to meet the challenge of demographic change will be central to the construction of economically and socially resilient cities.