Manchester has signed a declaration of intent that pledges the city’s commitment to becoming an age-friendly city.
The declaration was signed in Dublin by city representatives from across the globe at the First International Conference on Age-Friendly Cities co-ordinated by the World Health Organisation, Ireland 's Age-Friendly County Programme and the International Federation on Ageing.
In 2010, Manchester was the first UK city to be accepted into the World Health Organisation's Global Network of Age-friendly Cities in recognition of the work carried out by the Valuing Older People partnership. Manchester signed the declaration alongside cities such as New York , Lyons and Tai Pei in Taiwan .
The conference met to discuss the importance of creating "age-friendly" cities to address the two major global challenges: the ageing population and wide-scale urbanisation.
An age-friendly city is one that recognises the challenges of an ageing population and appreciates the great diversity among older people; providing facilities and support to their ageing needs.
Life expectancy is increasing at the rate of over two years per decade, and the percentage of the population over 65 years is projected to double over the next forty years.
By 2030, two-thirds of the world's population will live in cities and 25% of this population will be aged 60 and over.
Facts like this highlight the importance of preparing for these changes urgently and will require a major shift in the way older people are supported - and could mean the difference between independence and dependence for the elderly.
Councillor Sue Cooley, Manchester City Council's Elected Member Older People's Champion, said: "It was a great pleasure to sign the Age-Friendly City and Older People Declaration on behalf of Manchester . Every city around the world will face major challenges in the near future due to their ageing populations and we need to be prepared.
"It is estimated that a quarter of the urban population will be over 60 in a matter of decades and so planning for these changes is no mean feat - but it is imperative that we act now so we can look forward to our old age, not worry about it."