On 20 March 2023, at an official ceremony in the Meeting Room of Kraków City Council, the World Health Organization (WHO) honored Kraków for its efforts to create an age-friendly environment by officially accepting our city into the Global Network of Age-friendly Cities and Communities. Andrzej Kulig, Deputy Mayor of Kraków, received the certificate from WHO representatives.
Membership in the network is a form of recognition by the WHO of cities and their past activities in the area of senior policy, and by enabling the exchange of good practices - implemented to improve the quality of life of seniors - also a motivation to continue their activities. Recognition of Krakow by the WHO is a significant achievement, highlighting the city's commitment to creating an environment that supports healthy aging and the overall well-being of older people.
During the ceremony, a separate honor from the WHO was given to Kraków Mayor's Senior Policy Advisor Ms. Anna Okońska-Walkowicz. She was included in the coveted Healthy Ageing 50 - fifty global leaders honored by the UN Decade of Healthy Ageing platform for her contribution to changing the world to become a better place to age. We should add that Kraków (Municipality of Kraków in cooperation with the Jagiellonian University) is a partner in the international project "City&Co: Older Adults Co-Creating a Sustainable Age-friendly City".
The ceremony of awarding the certificate to Kraków coincided with the World Health Organization's Consultative Meeting on Guidelines for National Programs for Age-Friendly Cities and Communities in Emergencies, taking place on 20-21 March 2023 at the Collegium Novum of the Jagiellonian University. The event brought together representatives of cities and municipalities affiliated with the WHO Global Network of Age-Friendly Cities and Communities, as well as experts, stakeholders and representatives from around the world.
Established in 2010, the Global Network of "Age-Friendly Cities" brings together cities of all sizes implementing measures to improve the quality of life for seniors. Senior-friendly cities are considered to be centers that take into account the diversity of needs of this group of residents, counteract their exclusion, anticipate the needs of aging and respond adequately to them. The creation of senior-friendly space concerns 8 key areas of action, which are: public space and transportation and housing (covering the physical environment and mobility of the elderly), social participation and civic participation and employment (creating the social environment), as well as communication and information, and environmental support and health services.