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Age-Friendly City Plan 2025-35

Published on July 1, 2024

Advocacy for Inclusion (AFI) has made a submission to the YourSay consultation on the Age-Friendly City Plan 2025-35. In our submission we highlight the compatibility and joint pursuit of age- and disability-friendliness in city planning. Population projections show rapid growth in the cohort of older Canberrans, and the prevalence of disability rises with age. These changing demographics have serious implications for how people live and work in, move through, use services, and interact with their surroundings.

Our submission calls for the principles of universal design and social justice to be infused into every policy domain and decision-making process. To achieve this, we recommend that the next city plan actively promotes and enhances the accessibility of spaces, places, urban infrastructure and community facilities.

There is a risk that the next city plan is seen in isolation from existing reviews, recommendations, and inquiries focusing on the planning system, age-friendly suburbs, living streets, and different transportation developments. To counter this, we highlight the importance of an intentional and conscious approach and recommend the establishment of a core social planning unit which ensures lived experience voices of people with disability and older Canberrans are heard.  

With innovations emerging in the transport and energy sectors, it is imperative that current and future transitions and transformations do not leave people with disability and older Canberrans behind. There is a risk that these communities will be hit first, worst and hardest. To counter this, we recommend focusing on the need to ensure just and equitable transitions amidst any program of change and transformation.

Finally, there is a strong need to promote inclusion and connectivity within the community, as well as through service design and support systems. We showcase this by stressing the importance of overcoming the barriers of ageism and ableism in the next iteration of the city plan.