ESPON archive for the project 'ACPA - Adapting European Cities to Population'

This readme file describes the content of this project archive.



The European population is ageing rapidly, and this is particularly evident in the cities. According to Eurostat, the number of people aged 65 and over will almost double from 17% to 30% by 2060, and those aged 80 and over will rise from 5% to 12%. This significant demographic change is perceived as a major challenge for Europe’s social and health systems.

The eight stakeholders involved in ACPA, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Gothenburg, Hengelo, Greater Manchester, Nantes, Oslo and Zaragoza, have some of the highest percentages (>20%) of older people in their population in Europe, projected to increase to over 30% by 2030. These cities also experience increasing levels of transnational migration, spatial segregation, and pockets of deprivation, which impact on the lives of older people. Consequently, these cities need to adapt their policies and deliveries to better meet the needs of older residents.

Many cities have started developing and implementing age-friendly programmes. However, the main challenge for cities is less that we are living longer, but more that we are spending too many of our old age years in an urban environment designed by and for a younger and economically active population. This is an issue which has become an increasing challenge to the EU, and a number of initiatives have recently been launched by the European Commission to create awareness and provide support in dealing with these challenges.

ESPON ACPA will investigate the effectiveness of policies and initiatives to develop age-friendly cities and initiatives that support “ageing in place” in eight cities and city-regions. ACPA’s results will directly feed into the adaptation and development of policies and action plans related to age-friendly cities and social programmes including post-2020 cohesion policy.


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