Smart Healthy Age-Friendly Environments

The  SHAFE Network released a Position Paper that presents recommendations that aim to promote healthier environments for all citizens and make environments accessible, sustainable and reachable for all, with the support of ICT.

A new concept was created in 2017, based on the desire to implement Smart Healthy Age-Friendly Environments (SHAFE) across Europe, fostering happier and healthier people in all communities. This idea took shape and became a solid movement. That is how SHAFE was born and further launched in 2018, by partners Caritas Coimbra and AFEdemy, in close cooperation with several European organisations.

SHAFE began as a Thematic Network, approved by the European Commission, with the ambition to draw policy makers, organisations and citizens’ attention to the need of better alignment between health, social care, built environments and ICT, both in policy and funding. The conclusions of this extensive work in 2018, gathering over 160 organisations as partners, was delivered to the European Commission and Member States in a Joint Statement and a Framing Paper in December 2018.

After this, SHAFE evolved to a European Stakeholders Network, which is currently working to achieve better COOPERATION and IMPLEMENTATION, as the major challenges for this next period. This is the main aim of the Position Paper that has just been released.

The current pandemic has uncovered the major opportunities and benefits of turning digital. However, single digital solutions are not the panacea to all the societal challenges. Citizens across different age groups also need personal human contact; they need to meet, to talk to each other, to hug and to love. Digitalisation cannot replace this human need but can be a powerful vehicle to support people. The Smart Healthy Age-Friendly Environments Network will focus on the narrative, debate, disclosure and knowledge translation of smart digital solutions and of solutions to optimise the physical and social environments of individuals in a concerted manner, bringing together also the domains of health and social care.

The full document is available at