AARP Launches International Policy Journal Featuring Mayor Michael Bloomberg

Jun 29, 2010, 08:02 ET from AARP New York

-- World Health Organization Honors Mayor Bloomberg and City of New York for Championing an Age-Friendly New York --

NEW YORK, June 29 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- AARP was joined by Mayor Michael Bloomberg, City Council Speaker Quinn, and representatives from the World Health Organization and international governments to launch the new edition of its international policy publication – The Journal.  The issue features an article by Mayor Bloomberg on his initiatives to make New York a World Health Organization Age-Friendly City.

Now in its fourth year, The Journal features articles from the most respected voices in global aging and is a part of the curriculum of academic institutions worldwide including the London School of Economics and the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.  The Journal readership is comprised of international opinion leaders from many influential sectors including government, NGOs, business and industry, media, academics, and think tanks.  

At a reception to launch The Journal, Mayor Bloomberg and City Council Speaker Quinn accepted a certificate of recognition by Dr. John Beard, Director of the Department of Ageing and Life Course of the World Health Organization, for New York's efforts to become a more livable city for its growing aging population.  

"The City of New York has shown a real commitment to becoming an Age-Friendly City and has been very innovative in its approach," said Dr. Beard.  "In doing so, New York is paving the way for creating livable and age-friendly communities across the globe."  City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and NYC Aging Commission Co-Chair Robin Willner also thanked the World Health Organization for the honor.  The event took place at the Lighthouse International in midtown Manhattan.

"The World Health Organization is recognizing New York City as the first member of its Global Network of Age-Friendly Cities," said Mayor Bloomberg.  "As a city that welcomes innovation and is always looking to learn from others' success, we are honored to be a part of a network of global leaders striving to make this world a better place to grow old. New Yorkers are living longer than ever before, and it's important that we engage our senior residents so they too can benefit from everything our communities have to offer.  For more than three years, we have been working with our partners in the City Council and the New York Academy of Medicine to make New York a city for all ages.  We will continue to work with our age-friendly network partners to transform our city into a place that maximizes the health and active participation of New Yorkers of every age."

"I am honored that the AARP and the World Health Organization recognizes the City of New York's work through Age Friendly NYC with this award.  The work of the Council and the Administration will help make sure every neighborhood in every borough is accommodating for our seniors," said Speaker Christine C. Quinn.  "New York City is expected to add a million new residents by 2030, and we're already preparing for that impact on areas like our environment, energy use and housing stock. I'm pleased to know that the people who are working to make our City great have a New York that they can retire in safely and comfortably."

The WHO's new global initiative to make cities around the world more age-friendly addresses the unprecedented rate of growth in the age of the world's population and how communities will enable older people to continue to live independently in their home and communities with purpose and engagement.  In 2040, older people will outnumber children for the first time in history.  Urban growth is also growing with more than half of the world's population now living in towns and cities.

In his 2008 State of the City address, Mayor Bloomberg made a promise to New York that the city would become a World Health Organization Age-Friendly City.  Following that address, he joined the New York Academy of Medicine and Council Speaker Quinn to conduct an extensive assessment and conversation with New York's older residents.  Out of those interviews came the creation of the Age-Friendly NYC Commission and 59 initiatives to promote active aging focusing on community and civic participation, housing, public spaces and transportation, and health and social services.

"As the Baby Boom generation ages and becomes the Senior Boom, New York is going to be ready because of the planning and work that we've already begun.  Our work is far from over, but with partners like AARP we know that we can succeed as a model for the world," said Council Member Jessica Lappin, chair of the City Council Committee on Aging.

"The work that AARP and the World Health Organization has truly changed lives for millions across the world. I am truly grateful to WHO for recognizing the work the City has done through Age Friendly NYC for our senior citizen community in NYC. Many have participated and much work has gone into bringing us to this point. I look forward to the work ahead, which will bring us closer to our goal of an age friendly New York," said Council Member Maria del Carmen Arroyo, chair of the City Council Committee on Health.

"As the aging population in our City grows, it is essential that we implement policies and programs that help make New York City's neighborhoods more livable for our seniors," said Council Member Melissa Mark-Viverito.  "I am proud to host an Age-Friendly District in the neighborhood I represent.  This initiative serves as an important model for engaging seniors at a local level to identify ways in which each neighborhood can make itself more age-friendly – whether it's ensuring equal access to local resources, improving security in the neighborhood or repairing our streets and sidewalks.  I look forward to seeing how we can transform our community to provide a better quality of life for our seniors, and I hope other cities around the country will consider adopting similar models."

"New York City is home to a vibrant and diverse senior community," said Deputy Mayor Gibbs.  "By working with our private and public partners, we have been able to integrate age-friendly policies into our everyday life." 

"One of the things that makes the Age-Friendly New York City project unique is the collaboration between the Mayor, the City Council, and the private and non-profit worlds," said Robin Willner, Vice President Global Community Initiatives, IBM Corporation and Co-Chair, Commission for an Age- Friendly New York City.  "The Commission includes leaders from every sector of the City who have come together to develop specific, actionable recommendations to change New York City's neighborhoods, businesses, schools, universities, and cultural institutions – all with the goal of maximizing the skills, resources, and opportunities of older New Yorkers because an Age-friendly city works better for everyone."

"The city of New York has shined a light for the world to see the importance of keeping all generations in their homes and communities by assuring that housing and transportation fits their needs, regardless of age or ability," said Lois Aronstein, AARP NY State Director.

AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan membership organization that helps people 50+ have independence, choice and control in ways that are beneficial and affordable to them and society as a whole. AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to either political campaigns or candidates. We produce AARP The Magazine, the definitive voice for 50+ Americans and the world's largest-circulation magazine with over 35.7 million readers; AARP Bulletin, the go-to news source for AARP's millions of members and Americans 50+; AARP VIVA, the only bilingual U.S. publication dedicated exclusively to the 50+ Hispanic community; and our website, AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity that provides security, protection, and empowerment to older persons in need with support from thousands of volunteers, donors, and sponsors. We have staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Contact:  Luci de Haan, (212) 407-3718,