For a more active ageing, the elderly take decisions on everyday policies

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A closer pharmacy, transportation to get downtown comfortably, improved accessibility in the neighbourhood. Assuming that details are a part of policies, the Porto, Cidade Amiga das Pessoas Idosas action plan is giving a voice to this section of the population to get to know their needs, so that decisions can be made and measures created to provide them with the most appropriate solution.

'It is essential to promote the participation of people of all ages and at all stages of life to guarantee a solidary city and cooperation for a fuller and more harmonious life', the Councillor for Social Cohesion underlined at the opening of the first Participatory Forum on Active and Healthy Ageing in the City of Porto.

The aim of the initiative, Fernando Paulo says, is for it to be 'a space for meeting, reflection, discussion and collaboration towards the common good'. For Rosa Almeida, who arrived there through the Massarelos Residents' Association, 'people have to say what they think, what they feel, what is needed. Only in this way will the municipality be able to work in line with residents' wishes." And Conceição Sousa corroborates this, saying that 'once what we've proposed here is done, everything will be fine'.

Over the course of several sessions, people over 65 years old will be invited to share ideas and discuss local, but also national and more global problems. The aim is to build communities and empower individuals.

The city of Porto and the Municipality have set an example, but we don't want to be isolated. We want to work with other municipalities, to share experiences."

Pointing out that, on a day-to-day basis, 'there are situations that are relatively easy to solve, they just need to be identified', the Councillor for Social Cohesion says that the Municipality intends, with this forum, 'to create awareness that people don't lose their citizenship with age and can be a very important active part in solving the problems of the city, in the place where they live'.

Fernando Paulo stresses the 'fundamental need to contribute to physical, psychological, but also community and social well-being', but that the country 'still has a long way to go' as far as active ageing policies are concerned, urging greater mobilisation of the Government and all municipalities towards networking.


Recalling how 'the city of Porto and the Municipality have set an example', the Councillor guarantees that 'we don't want to be isolated, we want to work with other municipalities, to share experiences'.

'We have to transform cities, people's everyday spaces, create services that meet their needs and, above all, create the conditions for senior citizens to fully exercise their citizenship', either through new measures or by adapting more traditional services, Fernando Paulo emphasises.

For the head of Social Cohesion, 'it's a matter of dignity and fulfilment of human rights, but above all of evolved societies, which provide well-being for all people, at all stages of life'.

The Participatory Forum emerged as an instrument for democratising the decision-making process, aiming to be a catalyst for positive change by helping to build a more inclusive city, adapted to the needs of the elderly.