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J Aging Soc Policy. 2014;26(1-2):88-101. doi: 10.1080/08959420.2014.854651.

Age-Friendly Portland: a university-city-community partnership.

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a Institute on Aging , Portland State University , Portland , Oregon , USA.


This article addresses the question of how creating an age-friendly city has come to be an important policy and planning issue in Portland, Oregon. In 2006, researchers from Portland State University's Institute on Aging examined the meanings of age friendliness among a broad range of participants in Portland, Oregon. The research was conducted in conjunction with the World Health Organization's (WHO) Age-Friendly Cities project and followed the completion of two earlier non-WHO-related projects. The city of Portland, through the Institute on Aging, was one of nine original members to apply for and be accepted into the WHO Global Network of Age-Friendly Cities and Communities. An Age-Friendly Portland Advisory Council was formed to guide the development of an action plan, monitor progress over time, and suggest additional research. To understand how Portland's age-friendly policy effort has developed over time, we use Kingdon's (1984) agenda-setting framework to explain how the policy problem was formulated, how solutions were developed, and the influence of local politics. The policy actors, including individuals and organizations working within and outside of government, are described. The Portland experience provides a case study that other cities, especially those with a strong commitment to community-engaged urban planning, may find useful as they develop age-friendly initiatives.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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