In 2006, the World Health Organization (WHO) launched the Global Age-friendly Cities project in recognition of the converging trends of urbanization and population aging. The initiative asked 35 cities to lead discussions with their older residents to explore the strengths and challenges of aging in cities. The information gathered through this research, with the help of The New York Academy of Medicine, was used to develop a Guide for Age-friendly Cities. In July of 2010, the WHO named New York City the first Age-friendly City under its new certification process, and in 2013, the International Federation on Ageing awarded Age-friendly NYC the “Best Existing Age-friendly Initiative in the World.” 

The Academy serves as a WHO Collaborating Centre on Aging, Globalization and Urbanization. In this capacity, the Academy provides the WHO and its partners with technical assistance and helps to implement WHO programs for older adults throughout the world. The Academy has also served on the advisory group to the WHO Kobe Centre in Japan—the authors of the 2010 Global Urban Health Report—  and helped to launch the Centre’s follow-up report on urban health at our International Conference on Urban Health in 2016.  In April 2016, the World Health Assembly adopted the WHO’s Global Strategy and Action Plan on Ageing and Health, and the Academy is pleased to serve as a partner in advancing the goals of the plan. Additionally, the Academy is a collaborating center with the International Centre for Policies on Aging in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil.