The booklet

Lenkeblokk Icon Active and social at all ages (pdf)

Universal design is a prerequisite for an age-friendly society. Now KS, together with the Center for an age-friendly Norway, has produced the booklet "Active and social throughout life". Various projects and measures from the country's municipalities are gathered here.

It is the networks for age-friendly local communities and universal design that have collaborated to gather knowledge and examples of projects that contribute to more accessible outdoor spaces.

Active and Social At All Ages - Universally designed and age-friendly outdoor areas and meetingplaces (pdf)

Following a call for proposals in 2022, the two municipal networks of the Center for an Age-Friendly Norway and KS returned with several good examples of how municipalities plan and develop outdoor areas and meeting places, with a focus on universal design and age-friendliness.

The result was several dedicated webinars, and a separate booklet summarizing some of the contributions.

  • Active and social throughout life" is the title of the booklet, and it describes something we all want. For that to be possible, measures and facilitation are necessary, says Christian Hellevang, senior adviser for universal design at KS.
  • Universal design of our surroundings is a prerequisite for an age-friendly society. It is about how we create and develop the local environment and local communities, housing, meeting places, transport solutions and activities in cities and towns, so that the needs of a diverse group of older residents are taken care of in a good way, Hellevang elaborates.
  • Age-friendly development aims to create societies that are accessible and inclusive, and that promote active ageing. It is about both physical and social surroundings, says Anne Berit Rafoss, project manager at the Center for an Age-Friendly Norway.

Participation as a common thread

In the booklet (pdf), the participation activities from each project are highlighted in their own participation boxes.

Participation is the key to age-friendly development and a common thread in all the projects included in the booklet.

- It is about citizens having to be included in the planning and development of society. With local knowledge, we develop even more accessible, inclusive and age-friendly solutions in local communities and nearby areas, says Anne Berit.

And she emphasizes that the projects that are started do not always need to be large and expensive, but the starting point should be local needs and solutions, so that the measures can benefit the entire local population.

- The experience is also that it is not always the case that the age-friendly perspective was included from the start or the starting point for projects, but that it has been included along the way and as an important part of further development, says Anne Berit.

Fundamentally, universal design and the age-friendly initiative are about the same thing: Ensuring that everyone, regardless of where we are in the life course and regardless of functional ability, can participate in society on an equal basis. The key to success is to bring all these perspectives into new projects, she concludes.