Aging Populations, Connected Cities

Copyright AECOM photo by Dixi Carrillo.

Global demographics are shifting dramatically – we know that a growing majority of people now live in cities, but did you know that “by 2050 the world will have almost 400 million people aged 80 years or older”? This is according to John Beard, director of the Department of Ageing and Life Course at the World Health Organization (WHO), Geneva, Switzerland. “Never before have the majority of middle-aged adults had living parents,” points out Beard. “By 2050, 80 percent of older people will live in low- and middle-income countries.”

Challenges: age-proofing our cities to make them physically safer and more inclusive for older people, and changing our societal attitudes to work against ageism. Opportunities: increasingly, older people can contribute to society for extra years or decades. They can share with us the wisdom and experience that comes only with time.

Learn more about this and watch a video from WHO in an article from AECOM’s e-magazine.


Jake_89x100Jake Herson ( is managing editor of the Connected Cities blog.

Originally published Dec 3, 2013

Author: Jacob Herson