The Healthy Ageing in Policies research project builds on the Healthy Ageing research project, which started in 2020. This study mainly explored which individual lifestyle factors are important for healthy and active ageing.

From individual behavioural factors toward environmental factors

The current project shifts the focus from individual behavioural factors (such as a healthy diet, plenty of exercise, good-quality sleep, and so on) towards environmental factors, particularly at the level of the community or municipality.

This two-year project-based scientific study (September 2023 to August 2025) will investigate how local authorities in Flanders can be supported in the development of an age-friendly municipality. The WHO’s science-based framework on age-friendly communities provides the basis for the adaptation to a Flemish context. Within this framework, the following eight interacting domains are discussed:

  • Public space and buildings
  • Mobility and transport
  • Housing
  • Socio-cultural participation
  • Respect and social inclusion
  • Civic participation
  • Communication and information
  • Health and care

What do we want to achieve?

This project seeks to develop a screening and monitoring tool based on these eight domains that can be used to objectively map the age-friendliness of a municipality  This age-friendliness scan uses existing data (e.g. information from the Municipality and City Monitor), thus offering objective measurement. Municipalities can make use of this tool to align and evaluate their policies.

In addition to the scan, a report has also been developed, which presents the main recommendations linked to some concrete actions for improved age-friendliness.

The project will be tested in two pilot municipalities in Flanders. The objective is to roll out the scan throughout the entire Flemish region, if it receives a positive evaluation.


Veerle Dubuy

Veerle Dubuy


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