Age-Friendly Cities in Latin America: A Human Ecological Framework

Jonathan R. Guillemot, Mildred E. Warner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Despite the demographic aging of Latin America, the uptake of the WHO’s Age-Friendly Cities Framework remains extremely low, with the notable exceptions of Chile, Mexico and Brazil. We argue for a broader human ecological framework, which focuses on the macro, meso and micro levels, to better address the context, challenges and opportunities for age-friendly cities in the Latin American region. The WHO’s age-friendly city domains are primarily at the meso (community) scale, with a focus on built environment, services and participation. We call for more attention to be paid to the macro policy scale to address concerns regarding migration, demography and social policy context. More attention also should be given to the micro scale to recognize the critical role of family and informal care supports. It is possible that the WHO domains are the result of a design bias, with Global North settings in mind for their development. We find the domains of UNICEF’s Child-Friendly Cities Initiative, which give more attention to the realities of the Global South, helpful to broaden the WHO’s Age-Friendly Cities Framework.

Original languageEnglish
Article number46
JournalGeriatrics (Switzerland)
Issue number3
StatePublished - 25 Apr 2023


  • Latin America
  • WHO
  • age-friendly community


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