Growing Old and Keep Mobile in Italy. Active Ageing and the Importance of Urban Mobility Planning Strategies.

  • Claudia Burlando University of Genova
  • Ines Cusano University of Genova
Keywords: active ageing, urban mobility, Italian scenario


The world is facing a series of changes that will modify the way we envisage urban transport planning. The demographic switch coupling higher life expectancy and lower fertility rates is occurring all around the world. While ageing is indeed a triumph of development and increased longevity is perceived as one of humanity’s greatest achievements, the phenomenon and its transition in society need to be managed.

The rapid increase of the elderly group means profound changes which require solutions at various levels. The World Health Organization has established a path towards Active ageing, and it is within this strategy that this paper aims at analyzing the role of mobility as an enabler of active ageing. While mobility in general is very important, it was decided to concentrate on urban mobility, as cities are, by definition, the place where people benefit from urbanization economies and where transport plans are put in place. An increase of age, health and economic conditions determine the possibility to enjoy urbanization economics more and for longer time. Yet such fruition is determined by the accessibility to such places or services. It is for this reason, among others, that urban mobility planning is such a relevant tool that could lead towards a switch of paradigm towards more friendly and inclusive (for seniors and not only) urban environments.


Download data is not yet available.

Author Biographies

Claudia Burlando, University of Genova

Researcher in applied economics, Department of Economics (DIEC), School of Social Sciences, University of Genoa. Member of Italian Center of Excellence on Logistics, Transport and Infrastructure (CIELI). Member of national and international research programmes financed by the Italian Government. Consultant of Italian Municipalities on urban logistics. Member of technical group for Urban Mobility Plan of the City of Genoa. Author of national and international publications.

Ines Cusano, University of Genova

Research scholar in the transport field, Department of Economics (DIEC), School of Social Sciences, University of Genoa. She holds a PhD Italian Center of Excellence on Logistics, Transport and Infrastructure (CIELI). She has participated in different EU funded projects and has collaborated with the European Commission as external expert in the urban mobility sector. Author of national and international publications.


ANIASA-CENSIS. (2015). L’evoluzione della mobilità degli italiani. Dallo scenario attuale al 2020-2030. Retrieved from

Banister, D., & Bowling, A. (2004). Quality of life for the elderly: the transport dimension. Transport Policy, 11, 105-115. doi:

Burlando, C., & Cusano, M. I. (2014). Consequences of demographic changes on urban mobility: an overview of ageing in modern societies. Alessandria, IT: Impressioni Grafiche.

Chudyk, A. M., Winters, M., Moniruzzaman, M., Ashe, M. C., Sims Gould, J., & McKay, H. (2015). Destinations matter: The association between where older adults live and their travel behavior. Journal of Transport & Health, 2, 50-57. doi: 10.1016/j.jth.2014.09.008

Coughlin, J. F. (2009). Longevity, lifestyle, and anticipating the new demands of ageing on the transportation system. Public Works Management & Policy, 13, 301-311. doi:

Currie, G. & Delbosc, A. (2010). Exploring public transport usage trends in an ageing population. Transportation, 37, 151-164. doi:

Giustini M, Longo E, Beggiato M, Cozzolino M for working group CHANGE (Ed.). (2009). Ageing today: a new challenge for tomorrow. State of the art of the European Project CHANGE (Care of Health Advertising New Goals for Elderly people) (Rapporti ISTISAN 09/49). Roma, IT: Istituto Superiore di Sanità. Retrieved from

Haustein, S. (2012). Mobility behaviour of the elderly - an attitude-based segmentation approach for a heterogeneous target group. Transportation, 39, 1079-1103. doi:

Holley-Moore, G., & Creighton, H. (2015). The Future of Transport in an Ageing Society. London, UK: International Longevity Centre-UK.

ISFORT (2016). Audimob Osservatorio sui comportamenti di mobilità degli italiani. Le fermate sulla mobilità [PowerPoint slides] Retrieved from

ISTAT. (2016). Rapporto annuale 2016. Il Sistema della protezione sociale e le sfide generazionali. Capitolo 5. Roma, IT: ISTAT. Retrieved from

Katsavounidou, G. (2017). Implementing ITI for urban development locally. TeMA. Journal of Land Use, Mobility and Environment, 10(3), 279-298. doi:

Keister, L. A., & Deeb-Sossa, N. (2001). Are Baby Boomers Richer Than Their Parents?. Intergenerational Patterns of Wealth Ownership in the United States. Journal of Marriage and Family, 63, 569-579. doi:

Kim, S., & Ulfarsson, G. F. (2004). Travel mode choice of the elderly: effects of personal, household, neighborhood and trip characteristics. Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board, 1894, 117-126. doi:

Mandl, B., Millonig, A., & Friedl, V. (2013). The variety of the golden agers: Identifying profiles of older people for mobility research (No. 13-3850). Retrieved from

Marin-Lamellet, C., & Haustein, S. (2015). Managing the safe mobility of older road users: How to cope with their diversity?. Journal of Transport & Health, 2, 22 - 31. doi:

Metz, D. (2000). Mobility of older people and their quality of life. Transport Policy, 7, 149-152. doi:

Newbold, K. B., Scott, D. M., Spinney, J. E. L., Kanaroglou, P. & Paez, A. (2005). Travel behaviour with Canada’s older population: a cohort analysis. Journal of Transport Geography, 13, 340-351. doi:

OECD (2011). Pensionable Age and Life Expectancy, 1950-2050. In OECD, Pensions at a Glance 2011: Retirement-income Systems in OECD and G20 Countries. Paris, FR: OECD Publishing. doi:

O’Hern, S., & Oxley, J. (2015). Understanding travel patterns to support safe active transport for older adults. Journal of Transport & Health, 2, 79 - 85. doi:

Rimmö, P. A., & Hakamies-Blomqvist, L. (2002). Older drivers' aberrant driving behaviour, impaired activity, and health as reasons for self-imposed driving limitations. Transportation Research Part F: Traffic Psychology and Behaviour, 5(1), 47-62. doi:

Rosenbloom, S. (2009). Meeting transportation needs in an aging-friendly community. Generations, 33(2), 33-43. Retrieved from

Shergold, I., & Parkhurst, G. (2012). Transport related social exclusion amongst people in Southwest England and Wales. Journal of Rural Studies, 28, 412-421. doi:

Siren, A., & Haustein S. (2013). Babyboomers’ mobility patterns and preferences: What are the implications for future transport?. Transport Policy, 29, 136-144. doi:

Siren, A., Hjorthol, R. & Levin, L. (2015). Different types of out-of-home activities and well-being amongst urban residing old persons with mobility impediments. Journal of Transport & Health, 2, 14–21. doi:

Stjernborg, V., Wretstrand, A., & Tesfahuney, M. (2015). Everyday life mobilities of older persons–a case study of ageing in a suburban landscape in Sweden. Mobilities, 10(3), 383-401. doi:

United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). (2012). Ageing in the Twenty-First Century: A Celebration and A Challenge. London, UK: United Nations Population Fund. Retrieved from

United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division (UN) (2013). World Population Prospects: The 2012 Revision, Highlights and Advance Tables. Retrieved from ESA/P/WP.228.

Walker, A., & Maltby, T. (2012). Active ageing: A strategic policy solution to demographic ageing in the European Union. International Journal of Social Welfare, 21, 117–130. doi:

World Health Organization (WHO) (2015). World Report in Ageing and Health. Geneva, CH: World Health Organization. Retrieved from

Zali, N., Rahimpoor, M., Benab, S. S., Molavi, M., & Mohammadpour, S. (2016). The distribution of public services from the perspective of spatial equality. TeMA. Journal of Land Use, Mobility and Environment, 9(3), 287-304. doi:

How to Cite
Burlando, C., & Cusano, I. (2018). Growing Old and Keep Mobile in Italy. Active Ageing and the Importance of Urban Mobility Planning Strategies. TeMA - Journal of Land Use, Mobility and Environment, 43-52.
Special Issue 2018. SIET Elderly mobility