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SHAFE – Stakeholders Network on Smart, Healthy Age-Friendly Environments | link
A new concept was created since 2017, based on the desire to implement Smart Healthy Age-Friendly Environments (SHAFE) across Europe, fostering happier and healthier people in all communities. This idea took shape and became a solid movement. SHAFE began as a Thematic Network, approved by the European Commission, to draw policy makers, organisations and citizens’ attention to the need of better alignment between health, social care, built environments and ICT, both in policy and funding and delivered a Joint Statement and a Framing Paper in December 2018 to the European Commission and Member States. Currently has over 170 partner organisations and it is coordinated by Carina Dantas and Willeke van Staalduinen.

After this, SHAFE evolved to a European Stakeholders Network, which is currently working to achieve better COOPERATION and IMPLEMENTATION, as the major challenges for this next period. This is the main aim of the Position Paper released today.<br>Here, we present recommendations that aim to promote healthier environments for all citizens and make environments accessible, sustainable and reachable for all, with the support of ICT.

The pandemic has uncovered the major opportunities and benefits of turning digital. However, single digital solutions are not the panacea to all the societal challenges.<br>Citizens across different age groups also need personal human contact; they need to meet, to talk to each other, to hug and to love. Digitalization cannot replace this human need but can be a powerful vehicle to support people. The scenario during 2020 is an opportunity for the digital revolution to be well thought and implemented, if all the adequate challenges are well considered and tackled.

The Smart Healthy Age-Friendly Environments Network will thus focus on the narrative, debate, disclosure and knowledge translation of smart digital solutions and of solutions to optimize the physical and social environments of individuals in a concerted manner, bringing together also the domains of health and social care.  <br>The position paper will also provide indicators to measure progress and success on the realization of SHAFE.

With more than 70 organizations officially registered as Members, the Portuguese Network on Smart, Healthy and Age-Friendly Environments brings together partners from all regions of Portugal, committed to promote a joint agenda for the implementation of Inclusive Environments for all ages, with particular incidence in the areas of Health, Social Support, ICT and Infrastructures/Building Environments. The Network is boosted by a Working Group, being the Technical Coordination ensured by Cáritas Coimbra | Carina Dantas and the Scientific Coordination by ESEnfC | João Apóstolo. It also has an Advisory Board that brings together 9 national reference figures: https://caritascoimbra.pt/rede-portuguesa/sobre-a-rede/

From its first participatory meeting, held in Coimbra in October 2018, the first Network Action Plan was drawn up, supported in the following key themes: Influence on policies; Business Models / Implementation; Collaboration and communication; Health and Well-being throughout the life cycle. The Action Plan of the Portuguese Network is available in EN – https://caritascoimbra.pt/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/ActionPlan_Rede-PT_EN.pdf

The Covenant on Demographic Change aims at gathering all local, regional and national authorities, and other stakeholders, that commit to cooperate and implement evidence-based solutions to support active and healthy ageing as a comprehensive answer to Europe’s demographic challenge.
It supports local and regional authorities, and other stakeholders, in developing environments for active and healthy ageing that:
  • improve healthy life year expectancy (HLY);
  • enhance opportunities for independent living of older people and;
  • support a society for all ages.
To reach these objectives, the Covenant is open to all interested parties (i.e. local, regional and national authorities, as well as civil society organisations, industries, research centres and universities) that voluntarily commit to making age-friendly environments a reality in their communities and to share their experience with other Covenant members.
Full members of the Covenant commit to develop an action plan on age-friendly environments, i.e. one or several of the eight domains of the WHO age-friendly environments approach: housing, transport, community services and health services, outdoor spaces and buildings, social participation, respect and social inclusion, civic participation and employment, communication and information. Such plan has to set priorities to help the public authority become (more) age-friendly, with the help of Ordinary and Associate members.
The Covenant is aligned with existing initiatives such as the World Health Organisation Global Network on Age-Friendly Cities and Communities (GNAFCC) and its affiliated programmes, the WHO-European Healthy Cities Network, the Dublin Declaration on age-friendly cities and communities in Europe and the European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing (EIP AHA), in order to work in a coordinated approach.The Covenant is established as an international non-for-profit association under the Belgian Law.