The 2019 IAPS Symposium ‘Ageing in Place in a World of Inequalities: How to Design Healthy Cities for All’ will take place from 27 to 30 November 2019 in Brazil, in the city of Pelotas. This is a event promoted by the IAPS Environment and Gerontology Network.

The School of Architecture and Urbanism of Federal University of Pelotas (UFPel) will host the Symposium with the support of IAPS (Internacional Association of People-Environment Studies), PlaceAge Project, Laboratory of Behavioral Studies of UFPel and Program of Postgraduation in Architecture and Urbanism of UFPel. The Symposium is also part of Centre for Healthy Cities, Ageing and Citizenship Project, which is part of UFPel Institutional Program for Internationalization. This is a worldwide event that takes place every two years, promoted by IAPS networks, in different countries; the last one was hosted in Tanzania, Africa.

Population ageing has created new challenges in relation to how to design better urban environments that support and promote daily social involvement and the healthy urban living for all. As they get older, people face limitations in their physical and cognitive abilities, changes in arrangements of life and loss of social support. The environment preferred by older adults is the community, where they can remain active, engaged, socially connected and independent. However, contemporary urban cities can be “hostile” to people 60 years of age or older, acting as a barrier to access social, economic and civic opportunities.

This Symposium recognises that merely changing the built environment is not enough to create a more inclusive city for ageing because places are more than physical spaces. Viable environments are articulated through a strong sense of place, defined as the social, psychological and emotional bonds that people have with their environment. A strong sense of place results from access to support for active participation, opportunities to build and sustain social networks and it plays a significant role in the community. In contrast, a sense of exclusion or lack of opportunities to reciprocate, mediate and control is associated with alienation, isolation, and loneliness, often resulting in many health and well-being problems, particularly among the most vulnerable. Socially, the creation of age-friendly urban environments that support the sense of place is a part of successful ageing, ensuring that people can continue to contribute positively in old age, delaying the need for institutional care and reducing health costs and social assistance.

Within this context, we invite academics, researchers, professionals, and students to participate of this Symposium to discuss how to design healthy cities for all generations, responding to different environmental, social, cultural and economic impacts.