The Age-Friendly Environments Activists
(AFE-Activists) project is about information, support
and training in ageing advocacy



We all know that people live longer and extend their lives as citizens, community members, and consumers in different domains.

What are the implications for city planners and developers, social and health-care providers, public institutions and private companies?

People adapt to physical and physiological ageing effect as they grow old, but do cities and organisations, be they public institutions or private companies, understand these effects and have reflected on their implications in all aspects?



Let’s have a look to the context of the AFE-Activists project:

Demographic change

The core long-term structural demographic change in Europe is ageing.

  • How can our societies and environments adapt to accommodate that change in terms of housing, transport, social infrastructure?
  • Do we have adequate policies and practices that enable us to create age-friendly environments?
  • Are the voices of different groups of older people heard?

Age-Friendly Environments (AFE)

foster health and well-being and the participation of people as they age. They:

  • Are accessible, equitable, inclusive, safe and secure, and supportive.
  • Promote health and prevent or delay the onset of disease and functional decline.
  • Provide people-centred services and support so that people can continue to do the things that are important to them.

Older people’s activism
  • Older persons are not a homogeneous group. Nonetheless, what is often shared by older persons as a group is the experience of being stereotype, of political dis-empowerment and economic and social disadvantage.
  • The narrative of older people as engaged citizens who contribute to the well-being of their communities is weak or absent.
  • Promoting age-friendly environments from older people’s perspective, greater involvement in advocacy efforts calling for enhanced thinking and action on the human rights of older persons are some of the most effective approaches for responding to demographic ageing.


The overall objective of the Age-friendly Environments Activists (AFE-Activists) project is to support and train older adults who want to: 
– promote and foster age-friendly environments in their cities and communities and
– to influence municipal agencies in their decision making
, so that the infrastructures and services are adapted to the diverse capacities, realities, needs and preferences of all residents of all ages.



To this end the AFE-Activists project works
from October 2018 and
until September 2020 on:


Designing and testing of a non-formal learning curriculum

based on the analysis of the state-of-the-art European and global grass-roots initiatives of older people’s activism.

Project-based learning

enabling older age (65+) learners to find the most effective methods to translate the promising idea of age-friendly environment into effective action on the local level.

Organising transnational learning mobilities

giving the opportunity to selected participants to gain first-hand experience of age-friendly environments in The Hague (The Netherlands) and Udine (Italy).



The project involves partner organisations in five European countries:

Project Outcomes

Motivational and inspirational outcomes that foster activism on age-friendly environments.
Good practices

To motivate the future AFE Activists, project partners have developed a Compendium of Good Practices of Advocacy in Age-friendly Environments.

Explains the background and recent developments in the area of age-friendly environments.

Presents 15 grass-roots initiatives initiatives identified in EU countries.

Describes these in a standard form.

Training and study visits

In addition to in-class training, self-study, and project based learning, the non-formal training programme will include inspirational blended mobilities organised in age-friendly cities such as The Hague (the Netherlands) and Udine (Italy).

5 countries: Austria, Germany, Italy, Lithuania and The Netherlands.

AFE Advocacy Handbook: Covering the training curriculum and local activities, experiences gained in learning mobilities and interesting local activities realised by AFE-Activists.

AFE Advocacy Handbook

The project partners have developed a handy non-formal education tool to support people aged 65 and over in gaining skills and competences necessary to strengthen their civic engagements and influence municipal agencies in taking age-friendly actions.

Describes the profile of age-friendly environments activists.

Presents the trainings structure.

Explains the training approach and delivery methods, including local adaptations.

Presents the pilot activities planned and realised.

Gives handy tools for the training sessions and reflection.

* This publication is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

AFE Experience Handbook

The handbook contains a description of study visits to age-friendly cities for transnational learning events attended by selected participants of the AFE Activists training course.

Provides an overview of the key aspects, the origins of the concept and developments of age-friendly environments.

Presents the trainings structure.

Highlights the educational aspects of study visits.

Describes in detail of the projects and local initiatives observed in age-friendly cities The Hague and Udine.

Explains lessons learned and gives implications for follow-ups.

* This publication is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.



The European Commission support for the production of this publication does not constitute endorsement of the contents which reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.