Age-Friendly Approaches and Old-Age Exclusion: A Cross-City Analysis

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Tine Buffel
Samuèle Rémillard-Boilard
Kieran Walsh
Bernard McDonald
An-Sofie Smetcoren
Liesbeth De Donder


Developing ‘Age-Friendly Cities and Communities (AFCC)’ has become a key part of policies aimed at improving the quality of life of older people in urban areas. Despite this development, there is evidence of rising inequalities among urban elders, and little known about the potential and limitations of the age-friendly model to reduce old-age exclusion. This article addresses this research gap by comparing how Brussels, Dublin, and Manchester, as three members of the Global Network of AFCC, have responded to social exclusion in later life. The article combines data from document analysis and stakeholder interviews to examine: first, the age-friendly approach and the goal of reducing social exclusion; and second, barriers to developing age-friendly policies as a means of addressing exclusion. The paper suggests that there are reciprocal benefits in linking age-friendly and social exclusion agendas for producing new ways of combatting unequal experiences of ageing in cities.


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