How do we adapt European cities to the upcoming population ageing?

| Regions and Cities

The European population is ageing rapidly, and this is particularly evident in the cities. This demographic change is perceived as a major challenge for Europe’s social and health systems. Together with a European consortium (partners Nordregio and Ecorys UK and Spain), Ecorys NL was commissioned by the EU programme ESPON to study the policy challenges and best practices of EU cities adapting to population ageing.

ESPON ACPA investigated the effectiveness of policies and initiatives to develop age-friendly cities and initiatives that support “ageing in place” in eight cities and city-regions: Amsterdam, Barcelona, Gothenburg, Hengelo, Greater Manchester, Nantes, Oslo and Zaragoza. ACPA’s results will directly feed into the adaptation and development of policies and action plans related to age-friendly cities and social programmes including post-2020 cohesion policy.

Results
The project was successfully finished, with multiple products as a result: a main report with conclusions and overall recommendations, a policy handbook showcasing practical strategies and concrete good practice projects and case study reports of the eight European cities. The results of ESPON ACPA will provide a better understanding of the impact of the policies implemented in each stakeholder city and contribute to strengthening policies and initiatives towards developing more age-friendly cities not only for the stakeholder cities, but also Europe as a whole.

Additional outreach activities
ACPA will continue with additional outreach activities. An article about urban ageing targeted at the European Commission will be written, the policy handbook and city reports will be translated to 5 different languages (NL, FR, ES, NO and SE) and a conference around ageing in European cities will be organised by the end of 2020.

Connecting the project to the COVID-19 crisis
In light of the current COVID-19 crisis, planning for age-friendly cities that foster healthy and active ageing seems more important than ever. Ecorys NL and Nordregio wrote an article connecting the project to COVID-19. The article was published in the ESPON magazine.

For more information about this project, you can contact Erik van Ossenbruggen.