NET4Age-friendly, an Action supported by the COST Programme, organised a Training School in close collaboration with SIRENE.
This multidisciplinary event happened in Tirana, Albania, from the 10th to the 12th of July, and the aim was to discuss and share knowledge around Ageing in the City. Independent living and social participation in age-friendly smart places and spaces.
This multidisciplinary event was open to professionals, researchers, and PhD students with a professional interest in the topic and 22 persons made their way to EPOKA University to participate.
SIRENE was a central piece in a lecture on the first day, where the synergies between the project and NET4Age-Friendly were presented by Willeke van Staalduinen to the participants.
The whole project concept revolving around the growth of social innovation actors in eco-friendly and sustainable community-based services for SHAFE implementation in Europe was delved and broadly discussed. The need to provide a workable framework for investment and the key aspects around the ecosystem of actors to build this was central to the Training School discussions.
NET4Age-Friendly is a COST Action, bringing together over 550 members in 50 countries, that aims to establish an international and interdisciplinary network of researchers from all sectors to foster awareness and to support the creation and implementation of smart, healthy indoor and outdoor environments for present and future generations.
From the participants, it was possible to collect very engaged and encouraging assessments:
First, when I applied, I thought all would be about Age-friendliness in Architecture, but no. I found it very interesting that the mentioned topic is so valid in many fields, and moreover, the discussion was developed through different cultures and mindsets. Participation, through different ways, for NEW ideas in common daily life is crucial, and questionnaires and the SIRENE project plays a key role.
During the training school, I gained new ideas in order to create more liveable spaces within the scope of smart cities and the criteria applied to create especially age-friendly spaces.
As a project officer, I feel like I have gained much inspiration and knowledge on the topic on focus, that can be spent in many project proposals at the European level, both in terms of age-friendly environments and of social participation. As an individual, the course has offered me many inputs to reflect on.
In conclusion, the training school approached interesting topics that allowed me to deepen my knowledge of the theme I was interested in and will certainly use in my research. The most important for me was the interdisciplinary network of professionals from all sectors to foster knowledge, the sharing of good practices, and, the possibility to work on health and wellbeing in an age-friendly society.