The Aging Population and the Competitiveness of Cities

The Aging Population and the Competitiveness of Cities

Benefits to the Urban Economy

Peter Karl Kresl and Daniele Ietri

While much of the current literature on the economic consequences of an aging population focuses on the negative aspects, this enlightening book argues that seniors can bring significant benefits – such as vitality and competitiveness – to an urban economy.

Chapter 8: A Look to the Future for Policy Makers: Best Practices

Peter Karl Kresl and Daniele Ietri

Subjects: economics and finance, political economy, regional economics, geography, cities, politics and public policy, political economy, public policy, social policy and sociology, ageing, economics of social policy, urban and regional studies, cities, urban economics


In this chapter we will pull together some of the best practices that have been implemented by the 40 cities we have included in this study. While some of the cities have yet to introduce policies that will enable them to capture the economic benefits that are potentially available to them, most have seen these benefits and have acted accordingly. It is true, of course, that the structures and systems that are in place in the US and the EU are quite different, but it is our contention that similar pressures are being exerted, in this increasingly open and globalized economic environment, on all urban economies and that those in the industrialized world will have to adopt similar policies. This may be true in most areas of public policy and it certainly is true when it comes to aging of the population. After our review of best practices we will highlight some instances in which cities have not been successful, for one reason or another. BEST PRACTICES Our review will begin with some observations with regard to the three issues we highlighted in our analysis: relocation of residence to the city center, participation in the cultural and artistic life of the city, and engagement in intellectual and learning activity through lifelong learning and other programs. After this we will focus on some more general areas of relevance. Relocation of Residence While this has been primarily a phenomenon that has characterized US cities, we have noted that this is also found...

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