Age-Friendly Environments & Accessibility

We advocate for accessible and age-friendly environments to enhance autonomy and participation of older people. This policy area covers in particular accessibility, impact of digitalisation in access to goods and services, mobility and housing.

Credit: Barthelemy de Mazenod on Unsplash

The  context

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), the physical and social environments are key determinants of whether people can remain healthy, independent and autonomous long into their old age. Promoting age-friendly environments is one of the most effective approaches for responding to demographic ageing and increasing the healthy life year indicator. Age-friendly environments empower us to age in better physical and mental health, promote our social inclusion and participation and help us maintain our autonomy and a good quality of life. 

“We can enable older people to age safely in a place that is right for them, continue to develop personally, be included, and contribute to their communities while retaining their independence and health.”

Source: UN Decade of Healthy Ageing

Our key messages

We believe that we should all enjoy accessible and age-friendly environments to help us growing and ageing in our communities, supporting us to do what we value most.

We seek to: 

  • Ensure a proper implementation and monitoring of legal instruments like the European Accessibility Act;
  • Secure full and equal access to essential services, so that face-to-face options remain available (e.g., public administration, transport, bank);
  • Enhance accessibility, affordability and availability of digitalised services;
  • Prioritise accessible and affordable public transport to ensure door-to-door mobility between and within EU countries;
  • Support a life course approach for housing policy and initiatives, and support initiatives that adapt to the changing needs of its inhabitants. 

Some Figures

healthy life

is the number of estimated healthy life years at birth for women and 63.1 years for men in the EU. (Eurostat, 2021)

0 %

of fall related injuries occur while older people move around home; 16% on public roads.
(Eurosafe, 2015)

urban population
0 %

Around 70% of people aged 60 years and older live in cities in the EU. (UN Population division, 2018)

internet use
0 %

of people aged 75 and older in the EU uses the internet at least occasionally. (Fundamental Rights Survey, 2019)

Useful links



Julia Wadoux

Policy Manager on Healthy Ageing and Accessibility

Related news

Our positions

our Publications
AGE Barometer assesses on a bi-annual basis the socio-economic situation of older people across the EU and how this situation...

Related projects

Toolkit for age-friendly cities focusing on ageing and human rights, participation, solidarity and intergenerational cooperation, integrated health and social care...
SEE U project will develop a digital application with and for older persons to discover and showcase their neighborhoods, promoting...
URBANAGE wants to harness disruptive technologies for democratic urban planning, fostering inclusive decision-making through a citizen-driven ecosystem....

Other resources

External Resources

While the ageing of the world’s population is becoming one of the most significant social transformations of the 21st century,...

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