The World Health Organization Age-Friendly Cities Project in Portland, Oregon, USA

In 2006, researchers at the Institute on Aging in the School of Community Health at Portland State University were invited to collaborate with the World Health Organization on its “Age-Friendly Cities Project.” This project was designed to identify indicators of an age-friendly city based on the views of older adults, informal caregivers, and service providers. Teams from 33 cities from 22 countries from North and South America, Europe, Asia, and Australia participated in the research, following the same protocol established by the WHO. Portland was the only city to be included from the United States. The protocol established by the WHO called for eight focus groups to be conducted locally. The purpose of the groups with older adults and their caregivers was to ascertain, based on participants’ lived experience, what is, and what is not, age-friendly about their community, and what could be done to improve their community's age-friendliness.