The COST Action International Interdisciplinary Network on Smart Healthy Age-friendly Environments | NET4Age-Friendly seeks to promote social inclusion, independent living and active and healthy living in society, through the establishment of an international and interdisciplinary network of researchers and stakeholders from all sectors.
Its aim is to foster awareness, and to support the creation and implementation of smart, healthy indoor and outdoor environments for present and future generations. NET4Age-Friendly further aims to overcome fragmentation and critical gaps at both conceptual and pragmatic innovation level on responsive, age-friendly and sustainable environments to address European research and policy challenges. The main approach of this COST Action is the establishment of local or regional ecosystems in each country involved, to work on health and well-being in an age-friendly digital world. These ecosystems consist of citizens, public authorities, businesses/NGOs and researchers and they are well represented in the Action which currently gathers a network of around 700 people from 50 countries.
The Action is ending its works in October 2024 and the main results are close to be published, within its four thematic Working Groups: User-centred inclusive design in age-friendly environments and communities; Integrated health and well-being pathways; Digital solutions and large-scale sustainable implementation; Policy development, funding forecast and cost-benefit evaluations. The outcomes of the thematic Working Groups are being integrated by a dedicated Working Group to create a synergized output as a Reference Framework.
Besides a dedicated report for each of these topics, 5 training modules are also being developed, so that stakeholders of different areas may be trained to further support the implementation of Smart Healthy Age-Friendly Environments. These outputs and materials will be made accessible to interested users based on a persona approach so that tailored information is provided, and further explored through the SHAFE Foundation (https://shafe.eu/).
“SHAFE implemented through NET4Age-Friendly” was recognized by the United Nations as a Good Practice for the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals. More than 700 submissions were reviewed by a team of experts from United Nations entities and SHAFE was one of the selected good practices.
NET4Age-Friendly is built upon the SHAFE concept and is exponentially increasing the networking, the dissemination and knowledge exchange among scientists, business, public, local administrations, policy makers, professionals, and citizens. It brings an inspiring and fruitful new way of cooperation that fosters knowledge and promotes grassroot implementation at a broader scale, combining top-down and bottom-up perspectives. The meaning and notion of SHAFE as a holistic approach that promotes the alignment of policies and strategies is a unique roadmap for the implementation in and across Europe