Debates about gentrification continue to occupy a significant part of research investigating social change within urban communities.
Developing age-friendly cities and communities has become a key part of policies aimed at improving the quality of life of older people in urban areas. The World Health Organization has been especially important in driving the “age-friendly” agenda, notably through its global network of age-friendly cities and communities.
Developing age-friendly communities has become a significant dimension in debates in social policy. This chapter aims to provide a comparison of the age-friendly approaches in two European cities , Brussels and Manchester , with a particular focus on policies and initiatives that promote active ageing in an urban context.
Creating communities that meet the needs and aspirations of older people is now a major concern for social and public policy. Involving older people in the social and economic life of cities will be a crucial task for urban development in the years ahead.
This article aims to provide a critical perspective on what has been termed ‘age-friendly cities’ by shifting the focus from questions such as ‘What is an ideal city for older people?’ to the question of ‘How age friendly are cities?’ This approach might be more suited to deal with the complexities of cities as sites of interlocking and conflicting commercial, social, and political interests.