The potential of local and municipal powers as tools to promote rights of older persons has received growing attention in scholarly writing in recent years (e.g. Israel Doron and Kim Dayton (forthcoming) research on municipal elder in the USA).
One of the manifestations of this recognition is the WHO's glogal network of age friendly cities.
The first international conference in this field was held recently in Dublin, Ireland on the 28-30 of September 2011.
The outcome of this conference was a declaration, "The Dublin Declaration: Age Friendly Cities and Communities".
The link to the declaration is below:
Amongst others the declaration states that:
“3. Where we live, our physical, social and cultural environment, greatly impacts upon how we live. The significance of ‘place’ in all our lives cannot be overestimated. The built environment impacts on the quality of all of our lives and can make the difference between independence and dependence for all people, but especially for those growing older. Place is inseparable from our sense of identity and this is true for people of all ages, including older people.
4. Cities must equip themselves with the necessary means and resources and systems of resource distribution to promote equal opportunities and the well-being and participation of all citizens, including their older citizens. By 2030, two-thirds of the world’s population will be living in cities, and the major urban areas of the developed world will have 25 per cent or more of their population people aged 60 and over. However, many older people in developed and developing countries live and will continue to live in rural and sometimes remote communities. These communities must also develop the capacity to promote the health, well-being and participation of their older citizens.”
This recognition is of much importance, and it seems that the Dublin Declaration can serve as yet another important step in developing this field in the future.