Open Access Journal

ISSN: 2183-2439

Article | Open Access

Digital Ageism: Emerging Challenges and Best Practices of Age-Friendly Digital Urban Governance

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Abstract:  The ageing of urban populations poses serious challenges for policymakers and urban planners alike. While the number of people over 65 is increasing in urban areas, the digital transition in cities raises concerns about the persisting digital divide facing older citizens, as well as the digital inequality and ageism inherent to most digital domains. As ageing in place and place attachment play a significant role in the social engagement and well-being of older people, the purpose of this research is to shed light on the novel approaches taken by local governments to foster active participation among senior residents in the digital public sphere. Using semi-structured interviews with public officials from three age-friendly cities in Spain, we have explored innovative urban projects for digital inclusion, active ageing, and autonomy for older people. The findings of the study reveal the importance of coordinated multi-stakeholder initiatives in promoting digital literacy and overcoming barriers rooted in ageism in the digital world. True representation of older people in local governments, the promotion of co-creation initiatives led by seniors, and the standardisation of universal design and accessibility are some of the key contributions made by Spanish cities in their transition toward places that are digitally inclusive and age-friendly.

Keywords:  age-friendly cities; digital ageism; digital divide; digital inclusion; digital inequality; older people; Spain



© Olga Kolotouchkina, Mónica Viñarás-Abad, Luis Mañas-Viniegra. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (, which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.