By Matthew Lyon

Age Friendly was new to me, as new as everything else about Bay Ridge Center when I first arrived in late September. In my first week, Todd commissioned me with the simple task of elevating Age Friendly among Bay Ridge’s senior citizen population. Immediately, I turned to the internet for answers. Here is some of what I found.

First coined by the World Health Organization (WHO) on 2006, “Age Friendly” reflected the WHO’s concern about the challenges of aging in the new millennium. The big question was, in an age of rapid technological development and urbanization, how can cities be more age-friendly? By 2009, this question was being seriously contemplated by the New York City Council, Mayor’s office (Bloomberg), and New York Academy of Medicine (NYAM). New York City became one of WHO’s pioneer Global Network of Age-Friendly Cities.

In the following year (and decade), the United States took its regular census. Among other statistic, a curious trend seemed to be happening. American birth rates were dropping to such a point that, according to projections, the 2030s will be a decade where senior citizens outnumber teenagers. This trend put more pressure on municipalities to ensure their services and infrastructure were all the more capable of facilitating an ease of life for residents 60 and older.

Perhaps Age-Friendly is new to you? There are several ways to learn more and get in involved here at Bay Ridge Center.

  • Join our Age Friendly working group, every other Wednesday at 2:00 pm via Zoom.

  • Attend upcoming webinar on Age Friendly with New York Academy of Medicine, April 13 at 2:00 pm. See this page for the Zoom link and phone number.

  • Town hall (May) discussing Senior-Safe Sidewalk here in Bay Ridge, in collaboration with CB10, BRC, and various municipal agencies.

If you have questions or comments, please email

Matthew Lyon is an intern at BRC and a student at the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College.

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