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Age-Friendly Sunnyvale

An "age-friendly city" optimizes opportunities for health, participation and security for all people, to ensure quality of life and dignity as people age.

Cities in the Global Network Age-Friendly Cities and Communities pledge to continuously assess and improve their age-friendliness by ensuring that their facilities, policies and services are accessible to, and inclusive of, older people. Throughout the process, the City will seek community feedback to better understand what Sunnyvale's older residents want and need.


Tracey Gott, Community Services Manager, 408-730-7365
Damon Sparacino, Superintendent of Community Services, 408-730-7342



  • February 2017 - Study issue approved to enter age-friendly network of World Health Organization (WHO) and AARP
  • June 2018 - Submitted application and supporting documents to join age-friendly network
  • September 2017 - Accepted into age-friendly network
  • February to May 2018 - Completed baseline assessment of the City’s age-friendliness using a community survey and conducting focus groups
  • January to July 2019 – Develop a draft action plan
  • July to September 2019 - Assembled a task force to review draft action plan
  • October 2019 – Compile task force feedback, update action plan and present to Commissions
  • November 2019 – Present action plan to Council for approval and submit action plan to WHO and AARP


  • 2017 Council Study Issue - LCS 17-02 (PDF download) Potential Membership in the Global Network of Age-Friendly Cities and Communities (GNAFCC)
  • Report to Council 17-0425, April 25, 2017 - Update on Actions Taken Related to Membership in the Global Network of Age-friendly Cities and Communities (GNAFCC) (Information Only)
  • Report to Council 17-0585, June 20, 2017 - Adopt a Resolution to Join the World Health Organization's Global Network of Age-friendly Cities and Community and Authorize the Submission of Application Materials 


Approximately 11 percent of the current total population in Sunnyvale is 65 years and older. Over the next 20 years, that number is estimated to grow to approximately 34 percent, per the 2015 American Community Survey.

On March 28, 2017, the City Council approved a study issue to explore the feasibility of obtaining age-friendly city designation from the World Health Organization's Global Network of Age-friendly Cities and Communities (GNAFCC). The City took this action, in part, at the request of Santa Clara County to join a Countywide "Age-friendly Silicon Valley" initiative that urged all cities in the County to apply for designation by July 2017.

Learn more about Age-friendly Silicon Valley

The City is assessing its age-friendliness according to eight areas of focus, or "domains." The World Health Organization identified eight domains of city life that might influence the health and quality of life of older adults:

  • Outdoor spaces and buildings
  • Transportation
  • Housing
  • Social participation
  • Respect and social inclusion
  • Civic participation and employment
  • Communication and information
  • Community support and health services

Through community outreach, the City will identify our older residents' most pressing issues from among these eight domains. These issues will become the focus of the City's first age-friendly action plan.

Cities participating in GNAFCC commit to an ongoing cycle:

Planning Phase (Years 1 and 2)

  • Establish community outreach to involve older people in each step of the Age-friendly City cycle.
  • Make a baseline assessment of the age-friendliness of the City.
  • Develop of a three-year citywide plan of action based on assessment findings. Identify milestones to monitor progress.

Implementation and Evaluation phases (Years 3 to 5)

On completion of the planning phase, and no later than two years after joining the Network, cities will submit their action plan to WHO for review and endorsement. Upon endorsement by WHO, cities will then have a three-year period to implement their action plans.

Progress evaluation: At the end of the first period of implementation, cities must submit a report to WHO outlining progress, measured by the milestones identified in the planning phase.

Continuous Improvement Phase

If there is clear evidence of progress, cities will move into a phase of continual improvement. Cities will develop a new plan of action (duration of up to five years) and identify new milestones. Cities can continue their membership to the Network by entering further implementation cycles.

Last Updated: Sep 6, 2019