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Soc. Sci. 2018, 7(8), 134; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci7080134

From Active Aging to Active Citizenship: The Role of (Age) Friendliness

1
Matia Institute, 28020 Madrid, Spain
2
School of Social Sciences, Manchester Institute for Collaborative Research on Ageing (MICRA), The University of Manchester, Manchester M13 9PL, UK
3
Deparment of Educational Science, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, 1050 Brussel, Belgium
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 30 March 2018 / Revised: 30 July 2018 / Accepted: 7 August 2018 / Published: 13 August 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Active Aging and Wellbeing: Advancement of Interdisciplinary Research)
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Abstract

The concept of ‘Active Aging’ emerged in the 1990s, reflecting a growing emphasis on the relationships between health, participation, aging, and independence. The concept focuses on encouraging the participation of older adults in society and it recognizes the competence and knowledge that older people possess. The Active Aging discourse developed as a broad political response to demographic aging, one which promotes a cultural shift in what ‘old age’ may mean, by providing older people with new roles. The initiative “Age-Friendly Cities and Communities”, which was launched by the WHO in 2007, was developed with the aim of applying this paradigm into practice at the local level. Its purpose was to promote a movement of citizen participation where older people have a leading role as generators of well-being, and tackling the barriers of Active Aging. This paper provides a theoretical reflection concerning the development of the concept of Active Aging and how this has led to new ways of active citizenship in later life. New generations of older people demand a space where they can develop and contribute to society, regardless of their age. The aging of the population poses challenges and opportunities, which we can and must take advantage of in order to build a better and more egalitarian society, one that recognizes the value of diversity. View Full-Text
Keywords: active aging; age-friendly cities; participation; older people; citizenship active aging; age-friendly cities; participation; older people; citizenship
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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del Barrio, E.; Marsillas, S.; Buffel, T.; Smetcoren, A.-S.; Sancho, M. From Active Aging to Active Citizenship: The Role of (Age) Friendliness. Soc. Sci. 2018, 7, 134.

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