Novemer 18, 2014 The Milken Institute released its 2014 index and report on the best U.S. cities to grow old in. And New York was in the top 20 for large cities. Dr. Linda P. Fried, Dean of the Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia Aging Center Faculty member, Milken Institute advisor and member of the Age-Friendly NYC Commission noted “It is particularly gratifying that older adults in NYC are benefiting from the great commitment in New York City to making the city an even greater place to grow old, especially in terms of healthy eating, exercise, and low obesity rates. The core public health commitments lead to healthy aging for the population – and the many dimensions of an age-friendly city support engagement, inclusion and well-being.”
Responsible for the “Best Cities for Successful Aging Mayor's Pledge” initiative, the Milken Institute has signed up over 135 U.S. mayors who actively commit to improving urban opportunities for older adults. The idea behind the pledge is to encourage the nation’s mayors to commit to specific opportunities that contribute to successful aging, including access to meaningful work, educational opportunities, appropriate housing, and access to the advantages each city has to offer. We are encouraged to see so many mayors signing the pledge, proud that Dean Fried encouraged NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio to sign, and gratified that he did.
Ruth Finkelstein, Associate Director of the Columbia Aging Center, led New York City’s Age-friendly Initiative in her previous position at The New York Academy of Medicine. The innovations implemented within Age-friendly contributed to NYC’s high ranking in today’s report. The New York City Age-friendly Initative won the 2013 award for “The Best Existing Age Friendly Initiative in the World” from the International Federation on Ageing as well as the Archstone Award for Excellence in Program Innovation from the American Public Health Association.