Canepa: Time for San Mateo County to embrace ‘age-friendly’ cities


WHO designation to improve lives for aging population

REDWOOD CITY – San Mateo County Supervisor David Canepa issued the following statement recently after the Board of Supervisors approved a resolution to join the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Age-Friendly Global Network and establish the San Mateo County Age Friendly Initiative to be administered by the Health System’s Aging and Adult Services Division.

“San Mateo County cities are about to embark on a grand journey to help our older adults lead happier, more fulfilling and productive lives,” Canepa said. “More than ever before, older Americans are working longer, trying new things and engaging in their communities. I want to continue this trend to ensure our older adults can age in place, are healthy and safe.”

The concept of Global Age-Friendly Cities was developed in 2005 by WHO to help cities consider and implement policies and services to support older adults as they grow older to live healthy and vibrant lives. Population aging and urbanization are two global trends that together comprise major forces shaping the 21st Century, according to WHO.

WHO has identified eight key domains as areas requiring a conscious effort to create an age-friendly community: housing, transportation, social participation, respect and social inclusion, civic participation and employment, communication and information, community support and health services, and outdoor spaces and buildings.

The Health System will contract with the Center for Age-Friendly Excellence, which spearheaded the campaign in Santa Clara County, to conduct the campaign in San Mateo County. The first phase of the project will include working with Redwood City, Pacifica and Daly City officials on earning the WHO designation.