In the city, better combine aging and the fight against global warming

Tribune. Local communities are facing the ecological emergency at a time when the number of their residents over 65-70 years old equals or even exceeds that of those under 30 years old. In Europe, this is no longer limited to the case of rural regions or small towns; cities with more than 100,000 inhabitants will be increasingly affected by 2040, including in France. This age increase also concerns administrative staff, as well as associations or participatory democracy bodies, such as neighborhood councils, which are essential for decision-making in matters of travel or housing.

However, the elderly are literally absent from the texts, photos or posters accompanying the various campaigns to reduce our carbon footprint carried out by ministries, town planning agencies or think tanks. The illustrations promoting urban agriculture are all the more appealing given that professional agriculture is one of the sectors of the French and European economy where the average age of working people is the highest. In a similar vein, we identify few users over 50 years old on the images that come out by consulting the terms “transitory town planning” on the Internet.

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Contribute to the circular economy

This exclusion of seniors from the designs and designs of the ecological transition of territories in the Western world maintains the impression of a “war of the ages” around environmental issues. It makes people forget that behind the paragon of the hedonistic baby boomer, hundreds of thousands of retirees maintain frugal lifestyles that can draw inspiration from their memories of past shortages. As sociologist Serge Guérin recalled in 2014, many retirees unknowingly contribute to the circular economy, by having time to grow vegetables, repair furniture, give these products of their activity to those around them and receive services in exchange.

This reflects the persistent difficulty of many urban players in preparing for the aging of their territory other than through a series of responses to the “needs” of the elderly, apart from an assessment of their action on and for the city. The rearrangement of their interiors is of course essential and in itself deserves specific plans, such as the “bathtub” plan, launched in France by the Ministry of Housing. But these measures often remain applied regardless of the opinion that seniors may express on the future of their habitat and their city.

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