Elderly-friendly City services for active and healthy ageing

Ageing of population represents a great challenge for Europe. Number of citizens over 65 is significantly increasing, fostering the need to turn from a curative to a preventive healthcare model to manages and even anticipates ageing functional decline.

City4Age aimed to enable Ambient Assisted Cities or Age-friendly Cities, where smart cities support urban communities of older people in order prevent frailty and mild cognitive impairment (MCI), through the use of ICT tools and services that - in a completely unobtrusive manner - improved the early detection of risks related to functional decline while they are at home or in the move within the city. Moreover, the project offered a range of associated tools and services which provided personalized interventions focused on mitigating the detected risks, intending to improve the older citizens’ Quality of Life and promote positive behaviour changes.

Finally, City4Age defined a model aiming to provide sustainability and extensibility to the offered services and tools by addressing the unmet needs of the elderly population in terms of (i) detecting risks related to other health type problems, (ii) stimulating and providing incentives to remain active, involved and engaged, (iii) creating an ecosystem for multi-sided market by matching needs and their fulfilments, (iv) contributing to the design and operation of the ultimate Age-friendly City, where the city itself provides support for detecting risks and providing interventions to those affected by mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and frailty.

To achieve these objectives City4Age was built on:

  • behavioural, sociological and clinical research on frailty and MCI in the elderly population;
  • state of art ICT technology (i) for “sensing” personal data and exposing them as linked open data, (ii) for designing the algorithms and the API’s to extract relevant behaviour changes and correlated risks, and (iii) for designing interventions to counter the risks,
  • stakeholder engagement in order to be driven by relevant user needs to ensure end-user acceptance.

The City4Age tools and services were tested in 6 cities in Europe and Asia: Athens in Greece, Birmingham in the United Kingdom, Lecce in Italy, Madrid in Spain, Montpellier in France and Singapore in Singapore.

The City4Age project was funded by the European Commission under the H2020 Framework Programme. Its consortium involved 16 organizations from 7 European countries.