Anglo-Israel Seminar at the University of Liverpool Looked at Ageing and Urban Planning, noting the horrific murder and abduction of older persons now held in Gaza.

London, 20 October, 2023—Though the war prevented them joining their UK counterparts in-person, an interdisciplinary group of Israeli experts participated online in a substantive policy seminar focused on meeting the challenge of the ‘age-friendly city’ at the Heseltine Institute for Public Policy, Practice and Place at the University of Liverpool, with support from the Anglo-Israel Association (AIA). The Israeli participants maintained a calm, professional demeanour throughout the seminar, even though Israel is at war, receiving a constant barrage of rockets from Hamas.

Led by Prof Catherine Durose, Co-Director of the Heseltine Institute at the University of Liverpool and Dr Inon Schenker, Global Public Health Specialist and Senior Manager of Impact for Healthy Futures, Jerusalem, this seminar brought together leading academic expertise from across the University of Liverpool with Israeli policymakers and practitioners focused on the development of sustainable, inclusive, age-friendly cities and regions.

The 14 strong group from Israel with expertise in welfare, entrepreneurship, public policy, public health, architecture, and urban planning were unable to attend in person due to the 7th October Hamas massacres in Israel and the ensuing war. The Israeli experts were determined to participate and maintain as much professional normality as possible.

The seminar offered participants a comparative lens focusing on Israel and the UK, both developed economies with rapidly ageing populations. Designed to provoke substantive participant discussion, the seminar began with presentations by Prof Rhiannon Corcoran (Institute of Population Health, University of Liverpool), Dr Alex Nurse (Geography and Planning Department, University of Liverpool), Dr Shani Avnieli (CEO, AgeWise), and Shulamith Gertel (Israeli Ministry of Construction and Housing).

The seminar concluded with suggested action points for future engagement and research and a stirring account of the impact of the massacres and the war on Israeli senior citizens, including the health and welfare of elderly hostages taken to Gaza.

“The AIA was pleased to support this seminar focusing on the social and policy challenges associated with ageing populations,” noted Josh London, CEO of the AIA, “especially as it built upon the earlier work of the AIA’s 13th Anglo-Israel Colloquium and the resulting ‘Jerusalem Declaration on Ageing 2020’. We were very appreciative that the Israeli group were able to participate fully despite the war, bringing their unique expertise to the discussion in Liverpool and laying the groundwork for future Anglo-Israel collaboration.”

Josh London, AIA. Telephone: 07547212870    Email:

Photo caption (copyright-free):  Anglo-Israeli academic exchange on Age-friendly cities at University of Liverpool 18.10.2023