MANILA, PHILIPPINES (23 September 2022) — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $100 million loan to help transform Wuzhou in the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) into a more livable, age-friendly, and socially inclusive city.
“Mirroring national trends, Wuzhou’s population is aging rapidly, and the city does not meet the health, safety, and social inclusion needs of a four-generation society,” said ADB Principal Social Sector Specialist for East Asia Karin Schelzig. “This results-based lending program will improve the urban built environment, encourage healthy lifestyles, and enhance home-and community-based elderly care services to promote aging in place.”
The Guangxi Wuzhou Healthy and Age-Friendly City Development Program is anchored on the Healthy China 2030 reform program and aims to establish healthy and safe urban environments. It will expand the city’s parks and green spaces, including age-friendly pocket parks and urban trails, and improve fitness facilities and well-lit places to safely walk and exercise. Two new mixed-use living streets will be designed with public activity spaces for the young and old, while downtown streets will be upgraded with traffic-slowing and inclusive design features to make them pedestrian-friendly and barrier-free.
To respond to older people’s strong preference for remaining in their communities and aging in place, the program will improve access to and quality of home and community-based care services. A key goal of the program is to alleviate pressure on family caregivers, who are mostly women. This will include establishing two new care service centers and piloting a home modification program for older people in low-income and vulnerable households.
Other program activities will promote institutional development and capacity building through smart city digital management platforms and help bridge the digital divide through an age-friendly digital literacy outreach program for at least 10,000 older persons. The program also includes public health promotion activities to improve people’s basic health literacy and encourage regular exercise.
ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members—49 from the region.