Ageing well in post-industrial cities

What does it mean to age well in a city with a rich industrial past? How do the histories of each individual link together and reflect on today's realities? How does the city, and in particular Liège, position itself with regard to "ageing well"?

Virtual Place

Date

Start: 28.06.2021
End: 28.06.2021

Partners

Local Association

This very first Pop-Up CityLab on “Ageing well in post-industrial cities” aimed at gathering the insights of participants with various backgrounds and profiles and at inviting them to share their experiences, needs and challenges related to the topic.

The objective? To hear everyone's voice and then suggest concrete ways to age better - here in Liège, and in the other post-industrial partner cities.

Led by a multidisciplinary team, this workshop has addressed the issue of "ageing well" in Liege from different angles.

Societal Stakeholders/NGO :

  • Project Manager at the NGO “Habitat et Participation”
  • Project Manager at the NGO “Le Bien Vieillir”
  • Representative of the NGO Sequoia Public Administration : Representative of the Public Administration AVIQ (Agence pour une Vie de Qualité)

Participants were divided into three working groups, based on their profile/background.

1) ”Housing for the elderly” Two issues have been considered as particularly important by the participants with regards to a place where it will feel good for elderly to grow old :

  1. Quality of the environment (nearby services) and of the housing (e.g. no stairs or upstairs rooms)
  2. The housing should ensure the elderly’s wellbeing and help maintaining the social link :
    • Elderly should be able to choose the place where they want to live
    • The accommodation must be welcoming and allow for meetings with family and friends
    • Promotion of intergenerational housing

(2) Anticipation of ageing well The participants have identified 3 main areas of importance when it comes to the anticipation of ageing well :

  1. Living space/housing : it is crucial to think about the accessibility of the accommodation and the way it is designed in order to ensure the autonomy of elderly. For a large majority of participants (5 out of the 8 votes), it was the more important issue to anticipate.
  2. The next most important issue was the question of social well-being, or what one participant named “subjective well-being”: having a good network and reliable social relations, be free to make your own decisions, choose your own activities and have your own pace of life.
  3. The third issue addressed was to ensure financial security when anticipating the ageing well.

3) Perception of elderly in society Participants were asked if they had already experienced ageism in different areas of their daily lives: at work, media, in official document or in political choices, while interacting with young persons, during general interactions and during the Covid-period. 3 big issues came out of the discussions :

  1. Older people are very often all lumped together (“50+”, “65+”) in the different areas of their daily lives and the variety of profiles of elderly is often not taken into account – some are very active, some not…
  2. The elderly participating to the workshop also had the feeling that their decisions are frequently not deemed relevant and that they do not have the possibility to give their advice and make their own choices. This was especially true during the Covid crisis : they had to do their groceries during the week, were not allowed to go in crowded places…
  3. There was a general feeling among participants that a different kind of behaviour towards elderly (and in some cases ageism) is commonplace in society. Younger persons, for example, have attentions towards elderly that are not always necessary (talk louder, leave their seat on the bus).

Tags

UNIC CityLabs

Themes

Diversity and Inclusion

Type of case

seminar

Organizing unic universities

university logo