Reflecting on the 6th SIRENE Science Café: Insights into Age-Friendly Cities and Communities

On June 17th, 2024, the SIRENE consortium hosted its 6th Science Café online, a session dedicated to increasing awareness about social innovation. The event, which lasted for about 30 minutes, featured an expert presentation by Joost van Hoof, professor of Urban Ageing with the Faculty of Social Work & Education at The Hague University of Applied Sciences and university professor with Wrocław University of Environmental and Life Sciences.

Professor van Hoof presented the Age-Friendly Cities and Communities Questionnaire (AFCCQ), a tool developed in 2020 in collaboration with AFEdemy. This instrument measures and evaluates the perceived age-friendliness of cities and communities by older people (65+). The AFCCQ has been translated and validated in multiple countries, providing valuable data to identify target groups of older people who may need specific political attention due to their financial circumstances or chronic conditions.

Key Takeaways:

  • Introduction and Context: The session began with an introduction by the moderator, providing context about the SIRENE project and its focus on fostering smart, healthy, age-friendly environments (SHAFE).
  • Presentation of the AFCCQ: Professor van Hoof explained the development and application of the AFCCQ, showcasing how it can measure the age-friendliness of various European cities and communities. He highlighted potential policy recommendations and shared findings from different European countries, including various age-friendly typologies.
  • Interactive Discussion: Following the presentation, the session included an open timeslot for discussion, allowing participants to ask questions and exchange experiences related to the topic of age-friendly cities.

Implications for Policy and Practice

The insights shared during the 6th SIRENE Science Café underscored the importance of creating inclusive, supportive environments for older adults. The AFCCQ provides a robust framework for policymakers to understand and improve the age-friendliness of their cities, ensuring that older populations are not only considered but also prioritized in urban planning and policy development.

 

The SIRENE consortium continues to promote social innovation through such informative sessions, bridging gaps between research, policy, and practice. By highlighting successful tools and methodologies like the AFCCQ, SIRENE aims to inspire broader adoption of age-friendly practices across Europe.

For those who missed the live event, you can see a recording of the session below. Stay tuned to SIRENE’s channels for more updates and upcoming events.

The 6th SIRENE Science Café was a testament to the power of collaboration and innovation in addressing the needs of our ageing population. As we move forward, the lessons learned and the tools developed, like the AFCCQ, will play a crucial role in shaping more inclusive and supportive communities for all.

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