Hong Kong trying to become an Age-Friendly City? Not easy.

A project has been launched to make the city more liveable for the growing ranks of old people.

The project is of course laudable, but I doubt it will lead to the enormous structural investments necessary to make the city truly age-friendly.

There’s no doubt about the importance of this initiative.

See the graph from a recent report from Fidelity entitled; “2015-12-14_08-28-23 Women_HK_retirement“. Clearly, Hong Kong is not seen as a good place to retire (or to die).

The Age-Friendly City Project aims to change that. It’s being led by the HK Jockey Club Charities Trust and in collaboration with several local universities as well as other stakeholders including government departments. The absence of non-government, non-academics is cause for concern. The risk of more great research with no place to go?

A survey is under way to seek the opinions of 500 citizens per district. About 50 more citizens per district will also be selected to join focus groups – these will involve different socioeconomic levels and age groups. All good.

We have often maintained (and as famously espoused by Steve Jobs of Apple), people sometimes don’t know what they want. That doesn’t mean (in this case) that you should’t ask them. Political suicide.

I’d suggest a thorough, more rigorous use of the 61-point Age-Friendly Cities checklist from the WHO. That would highlight what needs to be done, both structurally and to support services.

Here’s our new free AF Cities iPad app designed to make the process easier to record, measure and monitor.