Age-Friendly NYC

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Age-friendly New York City?

Age-friendly New York City is a collaborative partnership between the Office of the Mayor, the New York City Council and The New York Academy of Medicine aiming to create opportunities for older New Yorkers to live richer, fuller lives and make New York City a great place to grow old. The initiative aims to have all sectors of the city consider how they can better serve and benefit from the aging of the population.

What is the Age-friendly New York City Commission?

The Age-friendly New York City Commission is a group of civic leaders from many professions, institutions and neighborhoods working together with city government to respond to the aging of the population. The Commission is promoting an age-in-everything agenda that challenges everyone from government, businesses, residents, and civic and cultural institutions to consider how older adults can be better integrated into every facet of New York City life.

How is Age-friendly New York City connected to the World Health Organization?

Age-friendly New York City is part of the Global Age-Friendly Cities project, led by the World Health Organization (WHO). Foundational to the WHO and Age-friendly NYC initiatives is the concept of “active aging,” which means optimizing opportunities for health, participation and security in order to enhance quality of life as people age. The Global Age-friendly Cities project involves more than 100 cities, including Istanbul, London, Melbourne, Mexico City, Moscow, Nairobi, New Delhi, Rio de Janeiro, Shanghai, and Tokyo. As a WHO Collaborating Centre on Ageing, Globalization, and Urbanization and a partner in the Age-friendly NYC initiative, The New York Academy of Medicine plays an active role in the Global Age-friendly Cities project, including hosting delegations and traveling to other cities to collaborate.

Why is Age-friendly New York City important?

Urbanization and aging are two of the world’s most significant demographic trends. By 2030 three out of every five people will live in cities, and the population of people over 65 years old will have increased by nearly 50 percent. In just a few decades, New York will have more older adults than school-aged children. Through innovation and planning, we can meet the demands of population aging while making the city a better place for all New Yorkers. Older adults are some of our city's richest resources, and making sure that they can participate fully in the life of the city for as long as possible benefits us all. In addition, many of the changes that are good for older adults—like an accessible taxi fleet or safer pedestrian crossings—benefit people of all ages. New York City is, and always has been, a forward-looking city. It makes sense that New York City should lead the way in meeting the needs of an aging world.

Who is considered an older adult?

As people in the developed world live longer, our ideas about what constitutes "old age" are changing. Both chronological age and functional ability are important dimensions of age. Chronological age often determines access to benefits, like pensions and social security, while functional ability determines how actively one can participate in society. Age-friendly NYC is aimed at ensuring that older adults of all ages and abilities can participate fully and enjoy all that the city has to offer.

Is Age-friendly New York City just about older adults?

Although this project assesses New York City from the perspective of its older residents, potential improvements, such as safer streets, improve quality of life for people of all ages. Transforming New York into an age-friendly city will take the commitment and participation of people of all ages.

How can I get involved in this project?

There are numerous ways individuals, professionals and organizations can work to make New York age-friendly. Please visit our How to get Involved page for more information.

How can my city become Age-friendly?

Cities can learn more about joining the network of Global Age-friendly Cities by visiting the WHO Global Age-friendly Cities web page. Cities can also contact staff at The New York Academy of Medicine who work on the Age-friendly NYC project.

How can I get more information about Age-friendly New York City?

For additional information about Age-friendly NYC, please contact us at agefriendlynyc@nyam.org or 212-419-3542.