Client / Funding programme:

ERA-NET Cofund Urban Transformation Capacities (ENUTC) Call, within the framework of the European Commission’s Joint Programming Initiative Urban Europe.

Start and end dates:
01-03-2022 – 01-05-2025

AFEdemy role in the project:

AFEdemy partners in the project City&Co to advise the project coordinator (professor Joost van Hoof, Urban Ageing, THUAS) on aspects of policy recommendations, research and networking activities.

☐ Coordination
☐ Training
☐ Curriculum development
☐ e-Learning Platform
Policy recommendation
☐ Sustainability


AFEdemy is partner in the newly launched project City&Co

International research into age-friendly cities with a unique measuring tool

How age-friendly are our cities? The international City&Co project is developing measuring tools and a co-creative approach for this. The Hague University of Applied Sciences is leading this project which was awarded a substantial grant in the international ERA-NET Urban Transformation Capacities* competition. Out of 152 applications, only 16 received funding. Together with its research partners in Poland and Romania, The Hague University of Applied Sciences will investigate the age-friendliness of The Hague, Wrocław, Kraków and Bucharest.

The leader of City&Co is Joost van Hoof, Professor of Urban Ageing at The Hague University of Applied Sciences. Van Hoof says, ‘The ageing society is an international theme. Over 1,100 cities are, therefore, members of the WHO Global Network for Age-Friendly Cities and Communities. With our consortium, we are working on a reliable measuring tool for age-friendliness, in which we fully involve older people. This will provide a basis for many other cities to build on. Our ultimate goal is a local ecosystem of the over 65s, researchers and municipal employees who together make the city more age-friendly,’ van Hoof explains. ‘An internationally useful basis for collecting relevant data on age-friendliness, which will allow municipalities to govern more adequately and based on evidence. They will soon have gold in their hands!’

Measuring Age-Friendliness
The City&Co project involves the development of an innovative tool for the qualitative and quantitative assessment of the age-friendliness of cities. The basis for the first part of this tool, the Age-Friendly Cities and Communities Questionnaire, is already in place. The Hague University of Applied Sciences developed this quantitative measuring tool with partners on behalf of the municipality of The Hague. It is a list of 23 questions covering areas such as housing, social participation, healthcare facilities and one’s financial situation. Van Hoof says, ‘We will translate and adapt this list for use in Poland and Romania. Then we will apply the questionnaire in The Hague, Wrocław, Kraków and Bucharest. We expect the ratings at the end of this year.’

Four cities, four contexts
With the Polish-Romanian-Dutch collaboration, the project team is laying a foundation that can be used in many countries. They work in Slavic, Romance and Germanic languages, which means that the questionnaires and tools will soon be easy to translate into German and Italian, for example. In addition, the differences between the countries are quite black and white. Van Hoof says, ‘We question the domains that the municipality has influence over, and which are relevant. In the Netherlands, for example, these are public transport and the coordination of services for older people with a migrant background, but that is different in Poland and Romania. That is why we tailor the measuring tool to the local context. For this “translation”, we, the project team, will make a manual.’ The measuring tool is unique. The World Health Organization (WHO) validated the tool for measuring age-friendliness of cities.

Innovative tool
In 2023, the project will continue with a qualitative method to measure the perceived age-friendliness in the four cities. Van Hoof says, ‘Together with people aged 65 and over, we are developing a mobile website, a portal, where they can post pictures and messages about the age-friendliness of the area. That will enable us to collect data, from which we derive insights that we link to the rating of a neighbourhood or district. The next step is a qualitative approach for joint decision-making and co-creation of policies with municipalities and actions at neighbourhood level. In doing so, we offer tools to work on age-friendliness. A great project for us as a university of applied sciences in a UN city.’

The project is funded by the ERA-NET Cofund Urban Transformation Capacities (ENUTC) Call, within the framework of the European Commission’s Joint Programming Initiative Urban Europe.


City&Co aims to develop an innovative tool for a community-based, mixed validated quantitative and qualitative assessment of age-friendly cities, that can be used in multiple countries. This tool should help cities to plan for, and implement, age-friendly strategies, using direct input from older citizens through partnership, delegated power and citizen control as laid down in the Ladder of Citizen Participation [Arnstein, 1969]. Moreover, this tool itself will be developed with the active involvement of both older people and policy makers (city workers), in order to build capacity through local ecosystems at the city- and neighbourhood level. To provide guidance for the tool’s implementation and execution of plans, manuals and a manifesto will be published.

AFE Related Topics

Outdoor spaces and buildings
Social participation
Transport and mobility
Social inclusion and non-discrimination
Civic engagement and employment
Communication and information
Community and health services

Target audience



Project coordinator:

  • Professor Joost van Hoof, Urban Ageing, THUAS, Netherlands

Project partners:

  • AFEdemy, Academy on Age-Friendly Environments in Europe BV, Netherlands
  • Jagiellonian University, Poland
  • Wroclaw University of Environmental and Life Sciences, Poland
  • Gemeente Den Haag (Municipality of The Hague), Netherlands
  • National University of Political Studies and Public Administration, Romania
  • Association of Dutch Municipalities (Vereniging van Nederlandse Gemeenten), Netherlands
  • Gmina Miejska Kraków (Municipality of Kraków), Poland
  • Grupul de Educație și Acțiune pentru Cetățenie (GEAC), Romania

Main deliverables

Other project results


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AFEdemy, Academy on Age-Friendly Environments in Europe B. V.

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