Erie County joined AARP’s Age-Friendly Communities, an affiliate in the United States of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Age-Friendly Cities and Communities Program, in September 2014. In response to international trends of population aging and urbanization, the WHO launched this effort in 2006 at a strategy to facilitate the inclusion of older adults and people of all ages in communities throughout the world.
Now striving towards the goal of an “Age-Friendly World”, the WHO supports a global network of cities and communities through the provision information, tools, and best practices to implement age friendly action at a local level. The movement strives to support residents to be healthy and active, take part in community activities, maintain relationships, and treat others with respect.
As part of joining the AARP’s network of Age-Friendly Communities, Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz pledged to implement community improvements that benefit older adults and all generations of residents. “Erie County is a great fit for AARP’s Age Friendly Community Initiative and we are proud to join other municipalities in the effort to plan communities that are ready for an aging population,” said County Executive Poloncarz in a 2014 county press release. “This collaboration will pool the resources of Erie County and AARP while tapping into best practices from other communities in the network, leading to better planning, coordination and implementation of a broad segment of programs that will ultimately support our older adults.”