The age-friendly movement in an Asian context

Yi Sun, Tzu Yuan Stessa Chao, Doreen W.H. Au, Esther H.K. Yung, Jean Woo

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

In October 2016, the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat III) successfully concluded with the adoption of the New Urban Agenda (NUA). The NUA recognises that cities are home to more than half of the global population and face unique challenges associated with demographic ageing. The World Health Organization (WHO) has promoted the age-friendly city movement since the beginning of the new millennium and provides guidance for policymaking and town planning initiatives. This chapter applies the focal points of the age-friendly movement to the Asian context and examines the driving forces leading to the emergence of age-friendly communities in Hong Kong and Taiwan – the two tiger economies of the 1980s. A mixed-methods research methodology was adopted, which included archival study, interviews with non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and government officials, and focus groups with ageing dwellers. Results demonstrate that the policy movement is rooted in two different driving forces: Taiwan predominantly has top-down implementation of age-friendly policies led by active government officials, whereas Hong Kong has more bottom-up initiatives led by NGOs and universities. The contrasting institutional designs have led to different institutional capacities for the continuation of relevant policies. The effects of how different ageing policies have been promoted extend beyond structural differences. The adoption of varying approaches to promote age-friendliness may hinder older people’s capabilities of living in security, enjoying good health and participating fully in society owing to the structural problems in the social welfare system. Underlying various approaches of promoting age-friendliness, older people’s capabilities of living in security, enjoying good health and participating fully in society might be hindered owing to the structural problems in the social welfare system. Social learning between ideologies and institutions, and the adoption of communicative practices in policymaking, are essential to achieving the best policy outcomes in the long run.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Age-friendly Lens
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Pages89-104
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9781000609387
ISBN (Print)9780367482114
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Jan 1

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Sciences(all)

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