The research team wishes to support older adults by involving them as main actors in the shaping of their local environment (i.e., active involvement in local policy plans, civic engagement, intervention schemes of the locality, etc.). Through an innovative participatory peer-research methodology older adults play a crucial role in the planning, design, and the realisation of the research project. By means of a standardized survey, municipalities were able to map local challenges and opportunities and issues relating to quality of life among older people living at home.
The project supports a shift away from the view that older people are merely passive consumers, towards a view of older people as active participants and actors in society. The creation of a community network involving older adults, members of local senior organisations, local authorities, third sector agencies and other community stakeholders is crucial in order to develop broadly-based support around the theme of age-friendly environments.


Belgian Ageing Studies Group at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel and Hogeschool Gent: three professors, two postdocs, five Ph.D candidates and students


Various local and national authorities and healthcare institutions in 170 municipalities in the Flanders region

Project timeframe

The research project started in 2002 and is an on-going project

Project Location

Brussels, BELGIUM

Sarah Dury sarah.dury[at]

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