‘We need to account for the voices and experiences of older adults’
How can we best create cities that serve the needs of older citizens? What is it like to grow older in the city? Are the voices of older adults included in decisions that affect their lives? How can we foster strong intergenerational relationships?
These are some of the questions at the heart of an upcoming university and community event organized by Concordia’s ACT project (Ageing + Communication + Technologies), Communautique, engAGE and Zagora.
On November 1, Age 3.0: Aging in the City will bring researchers, activists, artists, filmmakers, businesses, and community organizations together to explore what it means to grow older in the city.
The day will include two keynotes, a series of panels and conversations on topics such as creating cities that are welcoming for older adults, engaging with the city through art and maker practices, and working together to build strong intergenerational connections.
Film screenings will take place throughout the day, with filmmakers in attendance to answer audience questions. There will be an art exhibit that invites visitors to move through figurative streets and relive the urban experiences of the artists. Additionally, local businesses and community organizations will host interactive kiosks.
The importance of multiple generations
“If we want to build a society that is fair, inclusive and non-ageist, we need to develop methods that actively account for the voices and experiences of older adults," says Constance Lafontaine, associate director of ACT.
“Age 3.0 is a way to challenge the idea that smart cities or innovation are only about what is new and those who are young. When we organized the panels, we challenged researchers to think about how their work directly connects to the everyday lives of seniors and to the ways people age in Montreal.”
Bringing the community together
Kim Sawchuk, ACT’s director and a professor in the Department of Communication Studies in the Faculty of Arts and Science, is pleased to see the event taking place at Concordia for the second year in a row.
“I want this to be an event where people from different communities encounter one another and walk away stimulated by who they have met and what they have heard and seen,” Sawchuk explains.
“The event continues to build momentum and our community partners continue to bring creative ideas to the table.”
This is the second year that Communautique, a Montreal hub for open innovation, is partnering with ACT to organize the conference.
“It is important that those who are aging be the motors driving innovation, so they may make their needs and wishes known,” says Monique Chartrand, the community organization’s executive director.
Age 3.0 is also an opportunity for engAGE, Concordia’s brand new, multidisciplinary research centre on aging, to bring its members from across the disciplines together into conversations with the community and with one another, in the same space. Age 3.0 will be engAGE’s first event at Concordia.
Opening our doors
Last year’s event welcomed visitors from community organizations, members of seniors residences, students, academic researchers, and artists from different generations — and this year’s event is already promising an equally diverse audience.
“We already have over 100 people registered and our list continues to grow,” says Lafontaine.
Age 3.0 will span three floors of Concordia's Engineering, Computer Science and Visual Arts Integrated Complex (EV). There will be activities and kiosks on the main floor, panels and screenings on the 11th floor, and the art exhibit and more panels in the basement-level Black Box theatre.
Register now for Age 3.0: Aging in the City. It takes place on Wednesday, Nov. 1, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Concordia’s Engineering, Computer Science and Visual Arts Integrated Complex (EV) on the Sir George Williams Campus (1515 Ste. Catherine W.).