What should Nelson look like in 10 years time? Or 50 years? Or 100?

Imagine a brand new library: stocked full of books, music classes for toddlers, art classes for the retired, advice to the disadvantaged and internet access for all.

But there’s a hitch. The only way in is via a steep bank of stairs. If you use a walker, or a wheelchair or have a baby in a pram, you’re excluded.

A library designed with an older person in mind doesn’t have a steep bank of stairs, it is accessible for everyone.

This is the sort of problem being tackled by a community steering group building a strategy to make Nelson a City For All Ages. How do we build a city for an ageing population, which works for everyone?

A fifth of Nelsonians are over 65. In 20 years, Nelson will be the 14th oldest community in New Zealand. This demographic swing will mean challenges for housing, the economy, labour, transport, and health care. They all need smart, community-based solutions to make sure Nelson’s future is for everyone.

In 2020, Nelsonians took part in a City For All Ages survey that examined how age-friendly our city is, with information gathered to be used in developing a strategy for Nelson’s ageing demographic. Learn more about the results of the survey.

Professor Stephen Neville from AUT’s Centre for Active Ageing speaks about building age-friendly communities.