Age-friendly participation is not happening solely among the target group. Facilitators are found both from the city organization and politicians and from the family and peer groups of the elderly. NGOs are experts and play an important role both in elderly people’s mobility and in elderly people’s participation. Designing services also benefit from the intergenerational approach.
The challenges with top-down policy-making have led to the birth of stakeholder participation in policy-making for inclusive and sustainable development. The idea is that consultation with stakeholders would enhance the quality of the decision taken both substantively and procedurally.
In Manchester, focus group discussions have noted that other people are very important to the transport system for older people. According to the city’s report, sometimes the connection with others enables the system to work properly. Manchester’s programme gives also an example of another important stakeholder group: actors in the community providing resources and support. Businesses, cafes’ and other buildings’ roles can be beneficial in promoting elderly people’s mobility by opening their doors for rest or using the toilet.
To ensure that all relevant stakeholders are included, the tools for stakeholder mapping have become popular. Very often stakeholders are mapped based on the structure of organizations, lists of relevant stakeholders or service providers. However, in the research literature, it is reminded, that in developing mobility systems, the behavioural factor might be forgotten. While concentrating on the system, the confrontation and adaptation of the elderly should be recognized. In this light, it is important that the closest persons in an individual’s life, meaning family members and friends, are included in stakeholder mapping. Further, empirical research has indicated that having family and friends correlates to the activity of mobility, suggesting that the social network potentially provides help for transport if needed. (19) In addition, Eurostat statistics indicate that families and friends are the most important contacts for elderly people.
In the GreenSAM project, stakeholder mapping was done by placing the elderly people in the middle of the picture and starting to think what kind of actions elderly people have in their everyday life and with who or what kind of actors he/she will be in contact. From this perspective the most relevant actors are family and friends, often lacking in stakeholder mapping. Secondly, it was thought who or what kind of actors are lacking from the picture. The third task was to study what kind of links there are between different stakeholders and if all actors are connected to other comprehensively.
Results of stakeholder mappings (three pictures above) indicated that elderly people have generally numerous activities and places, in which they meet several stakeholders. All of these should be considered to effect on the attitudes and behavior of elderly people. Along with friends and families, there are neighbors, hobby mates, peer mates, and other relatives. Extended families can include children and all the relations coming from kindergarten and nursery schools.
Different kinds of stakeholder groups, activities and activity places:
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