The UK government describes its National Strategy for Housing in an Ageing Society, published today, as 'the first of its kind in the world,' which if true is slightly depressing but these things always take longer than you expect. Anyway, this is the sort of thing this government does well.
What I like about the approach is that this is not just about building to age-friendly designs - desirable and long-overdue as that is - and supporting that with repair and adaptation ('handyman') schemes. It also seems to be driving deliberately at the idea of lifetime neighbourhoods and 'age-friendly cities' (which is one of the ways in which the new eco-towns are being packaged).
The Government is clear that urgent action is required now to better design communities and support older people. The Strategy is key to better meeting older peoples' aspirations to remain independent in later life.
Am I being naive and over-optimistic to think that lasting initiatives promoting neighbourliness could be built on this platform? I really think it can happen.