Envisioning a City For All Ages

22/10/2021 3:10pm
The City For All Ages Strategy includes stories from Nelson residents, including that of the origins of the Nelson Botanicals FC, an intergenerational football team.
The City For All Ages Strategy includes stories from Nelson residents, including that of the origins of the Nelson Botanicals FC, an intergenerational football team.

By 2040, approximately one-third of Nelson’s population is expected to be over 65 years old and we want to embrace this change for the benefit of our entire community.

The newly released draft City For All Ages Strategy, developed by a community steering group with the support of Nelson City Council, aims to support older Nelsonians to stay connected and to contribute to our community, benefitting both the health and wellbeing of those individuals and our city.

The strategy looks at a range of aspects of life in Nelson, including wellness, social, work, housing, mobility, information and outdoors, and lists some practical actions that can be taken to make Nelson more age-friendly.

Nelson benefits hugely from the varied roles our older residents play, from the senior entrepreneurs providing employment to the older volunteers protecting our biodiversity through pest control. And, as our community ages, we will need to support our older adults to continue to contribute and maintain our thriving city.

This has positive implications for the whole community - creating a city that is accessible and welcoming for older adults brings wellbeing benefits for all ages, for instance, walkways that can fit a mobility scooter are good for strollers too.

The draft strategy is out for consultation now and the steering group would like to hear your ideas – after all, the experts on what is needed to make Nelson more age-friendly in future are our residents today.

The chair of the steering group, local businessman Paul Steere, said “The fact that we are living longer is a wonderful achievement. But unless we prepare our community for these changes, many will struggle and find the extra years not a gift, but a burden."

Some of the actions proposed include maintaining generational engagement, supporting older adults who wish to stay in employment longer, reviewing additional seating on walkways, encouraging volunteering, strength training classes for older adults and collecting data on older residents’ accommodation needs.  

Councillor and City For All Ages working group Chair Matt Lawrey said Nelson-Whakatū was already famous for being a great place to live but the working group wanted to know how we can make it even better for all ages.

“We don’t want to just hear from older Nelsonians; we want to hear from everyone because we want this city to work as well as it can for all generations. We all have a role to play in this because we’re all getting older together. Ultimately, we don’t just want people to enjoy being older in Nelson-Whakatū, we actually want them to look forward to it.”

The steering group is keen to hear about other partner organisations that could help undertake more actions to make Nelson more age-friendly. If you think there is a gap in the strategy, let us know who could help fill it.

Your feedback will help us find more partners, whether they are community groups, central government, or any other organisation that operates in our community, and help us get more done for our community.

To find out more about the strategy, the steering group and age-friendly Nelson, please visit www.cityforallages.nz. Send your ideas to cityforallages@ncc.govt.nz or submit them online here. There is a $50 supermarket voucher for the idea the steering group finds most helpful.