The Age-Friendly Mission

“The Age-Friendly philosophy is closely aligned with my vision for Boston. The guiding principle focuses on designing livable communities that promote good health, strong civic participation, and clear communication. That means safe, walkable streets; offering better housing and transportation options; improving access to key services; and providing opportunities to be socially engaged. It means sustaining economic growth and enabling happier, healthier residents.

In other words, an Age-Friendly city is a thriving and inclusive city for all.”

– Mayor Martin J. Walsh

What factors make a city better than another to live in?

What contributes to an environment in which older adults can continue to lead healthy, productive and happy lives?

The Age-Friendly Boston project challenges the city’s public agencies, businesses, cultural, educational and religious institutions and community groups to tackle these questions and consider how changes to policy and practice can enhance the quality of life for our residents.

You are essential partners in creating this city wide change. With your help, we will look closely at outdoor spaces, buildings, housing, and transportation. We will assess the quality and availability of health services and community support and the effectiveness of our communication and information sharing. We want to know how to include you more fully in the civic, social and cultural life of the city and create more opportunities for volunteering and employment.

With information we learn from you, we will identify key priorities and draft an action plan. We will develop partnerships and work together to make sure our older residents can continue to enjoy their lives in their communities and contribute to a vibrant, dynamic city.

City of Boston releases the Age-Friendly Boston data report June 16th, 2016 

World Health Organization Age-Friendly Cities Checklist: Age friendly cities checklist

Download your community profiles from the Massachusetts Healthy Aging Report:

Read the research document that inspired Mayor Walsh to join the World Health Organization’s network of age-friendly cities: UMass Gerontology Institute Aging in Boston report

Appendix to the Aging in Boston report: Appendix to Aging in Boston report

Mayor Walsh’s article about Age-Friendly Boston in AARP:

Image result for age-friendly cities flower

12 thoughts on “The Age-Friendly Mission

  1. I love Boston, and have lived in my present neighborhood since 1986. Now that I am in my 70’s I have neighbors who I have known for many years and are the heart of some of my social life. Unfortunately I may need to leave much sooner than I would have preferred. The reason for this is that my home is now seen as quite valuable, which means high property taxes – or one way to put it is I am, as are many of my age-mates, being taxed out of town.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Alice, This is something we hear often and one of the priorities for this project is to help people stay in their homes and their communities and explore some ways to make this possible. There is an upcoming opportunity for people to have their voices heard about subjects like this and I would like to invite you to Mayor Walsh’s Civic Academy on Age-Friendly Boston on February 28th at Fanueil Hall. 10-11:30 a.m. 9:30 a.m. registration. An invitation will be posted shortly.

      Hope you can join us!


  2. From “Squared Away,” the blog of the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College: “Ranking: Top Cities for Successful Aging” dated 2/19/2015

    Despite their high cost of living, the Boston, New York, and San Francisco metropolitan areas ranked No. 4, 14 and 17, respectively. Lifestyle was important.
    While Boston is teeming with college students, for example, a high share of the age 65+ population is employed.


    • That is great news! We look forward to working with the Transportation Department on Vision Zero. We will be interested in how DC implements the initiative and if there are best practices we can share as both our cities move forward.


  3. mr.mayor,
    you need to make south boston age friendly we need benches all along east & west broadway right down to broadway station. there is no place to sit down. i hope you can make this happen. thank you mayor walsh.


  4. In Jan 2016 an Ordinance Exempting the Elderly and Disabled from the City’s Snow Removal Requirements was proposed at the City Council Meeting. On that day the majority of city councillors requested that their names be added as sponsors of the proposed ordinance ergo indicating that they supported the ordinance.

    The reason for this ordinance is that snow shoveling by an elderly person can exacerbate underlying respiratory illness, cause a heart attack, falls, broken bones and death. The city of Boston web site specifically instructs the elderly to avoid shoveling; See

    In Feb 2016 Emily Shea (Commissioner for Boston Elderly Commission) said she would be presenting a snow shoveling program to the Mayor. Has she done so. If so what are its contents, if not when will this be presented


  5. Free travel training program for seniors and disabled persons through a grant from the MBTA. I’m looking to show seniors the option of taking public transportation by creating a travel club of sorts to take seniors on the T to fun and enjoyable places they would be interested in going to. Let me know if you would like more information on this free opportunity.


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