How can cities adapt to the needs of their aging populations?

Previously published on USC News. By Katharine Gammon.

Long before COVID-19 had us rethinking just about every aspect of how we live, demographers and experts on aging were already considering what the future will look like for the world’s cities.

A decade from now, roughly 3 of every 5 people on the planet will live in cities, and that population is getting older than the urban dwellers of the past. On top of that, aging populations will double between now and the end of the century.

Add lower birth rates and longer lives to the mix, and it’s undeniable: Cities are fundamentally changing.

“Population aging will literally change everything,” said Paul Irving, distinguished scholar in residence at the USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology. “And cities are the first line in a rapidly changing country.”

In response to this demographic shift, city leaders have begun to reconsider the fundamentals. And USC researchers are at the forefront of studying this shift, with a deep well of knowledge in planning, demographics and gerontology.

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