Alexandria McBride, B.S.
The Ohio State University College of Social Work
Arnedia Smith, Best Undergraduate Paper
Paper title: A Cross-Cultural Comparison on Age-Friendly Cities: Akita, Japan and Columbus, Ohio
Abstract: This research will help bridge the cultural gaps in aging studies. Japan is on the forefront of our aging world, and we need to take this opportunity to learn from their experiences. This research will primarily focus on the differences in our approach to a similar problem (the lack of comparison material on the international approaches to Age-Friendly Cities) and how that may be affected by differing cultures. Baseline Assessment Reports from each city were compared for their interview questions and methods. The researcher then compared how the results affected their priorities in their Action plans. Finally, interviews were conducted with a cultural expert to clarify any cultural significance. Columbus’s focus went primarily to actions that could be solved through city environment changes because that is where they found the greatest need. However, Akita had little concerns about housing and transportation in comparison. This drastic difference is both affected by the cultural difference and economic priorities. As Columbus’s aging population inches towards that of Akita’s, we need to find solid solutions around housing and transportation. Akita offers a great example for our future goals as an Aging city.