In 2006, the World Health Organization (WHO) approached the Institute on Aging (IOA) at Portland State University (PSU) as a collaborator in its Global Age-Friendly Cities Project, to collect data concerning Portland’s age friendliness. A total of 33 cities in 22 countries around the world participated in the original project, of which Portland was the only U.S. city. WHO’s goal for the study was to identify concrete indicators of an age-friendly city and produce a practical guide to stimulate and guide advocacy, community development, and policy change to make urban communities around the world age friendly.
In June 2010, Portland was one of nine cities selected to be a pioneer member of the WHO Network of Age-Friendly Cities. Working closely with the City and advising on the Portland Plan, the Age-Friendly Advisory Council is developing and implementing a plan to make Portland a place where people can age well.
The Action Plan for an Age-Friendly Portland was adopted by the City Council in October 2013. In November 2014, the Advisory Council celebrated the one-year milestone of implementation of the Action Plan and presented their Year 1 Progress Report at City Hall, where Mayor Hales and his colleagues supported the initiative by signing the “Best Cities for Successful Aging Mayor’s Pledge.” In 2015, the initiative’s Year 2 Progress Report was presented.