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Questioning the Potential for Achieving Active Ageing in Bucharest

Mihaela PREDA1, Ana-Irina LEQUEUX DINCĂ*1, Ana-Maria TALOȘ1, 2, Alina MARECI1, Camelia SURUGIU3, Marius-Răzvan SURUGIU4
* Corresponding author
University of Bucharest, Faculty of Geography, Department of Human and Economic Geography, Bucharest, ROMANIA
2 University of Bucharest, Romanian Young Academy, Bucharest, ROMANIA
University of Bucharest, Faculty of Administration and Business, Bucharest, ROMANIA
4 Romanian Academy, Institute of National Economy, Bucharest, ROMANIA
Pages: 23-41

Abstract. The continuous growth of elderly population cohorts represents a global phenomenon influencing the design of any country’s economic and social policies. In the present context, an urban development planning challenge is encouraging an active and healthy lifestyle, transforming seniors into an economically and socially active group that further ensures their successful active ageing and respects place attachment values. This study aims to depict an overall image of the possibility to achieve active ageing for Bucharest’s elderly and their perception of this matter. In order to do so, the research appealed to the survey method for a total sample of 402 residents aged 65+ and living in all districts of Bucharest. The research objectives follow the main pillars of the active ageing concept that is assessing: their financial security and reasons motivating them to work after retiring, their capacity and needs for independent living, their access to health services and the enabling environment, which can act both as a facilitator and a barrier. The main results reveal that an active lifestyle depends on socio-economic and psychological characteristics and that the elderly’s contribution to economic life is often a continuation of their previous activities, not necessarily a result of successful policies for achieving active ageing. All these, next to low revenues, low access to health care, and limited usage capacity for ICT tools, define obvious difficulties for designing future urban friendly-ageing policies in Bucharest. This research represents a valuable contribution from the pre-COVID period, which may be complemented by further studies that contrast current perspectives on the topic.

K e y w o r d s: seniors, ageing in place, place attachment, economic necessities, social involvement, independent living, Romania