In the fall of 2006, Portland State University's (PSU) Institute on Aging (IOA) became the first U.S. city to join the WHO Global Network of Age-friendly Cities and Communities. Researchers at the IOA collected and analyzed data, met in London with the WHO and representatives from the 33 cities in 22 countries involved in the research project to discuss findings and future directions, and participated in the official launch of findings (globally and locally) on October 1st, 2007. In addition to contributing to the WHO's Global Age-friendly Cities Guide, the IOA released a Portland-specific final report and a summary of findings that have served as a catalyst for the evolving university-city-community partnership aimed at creating an age-friendly Portland. In 2010, Portland applied for and was accepted into the WHO's Global Network of Age-friendly Cities and Communities which created an official partnership between the IOA, Portland's Mayor and City Council, and the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability.
Since being accepted into the Global Network, an advisory council comprised of public, private, non-profit and educational members has guided Portland's efforts. Project staff have been involved in numerous activities, including: serving on the mayor's advisory group for the Portland Plan (a 25-year strategic planning effort to guide Portland's growth and development); working with city staff to establish action items to create a "Portland for all Generations" (see pp. 24-25 of Portland Plan); beginning the development of an Action Plan for an Age-friendly Portland; working with regional partners on related age-friendly efforts (Clark County in the state of Washington; Clackamas and Washington Counties in the state of Oregon; and PSU's Masters of Urban and Regional Planning students); establishing opportunities for additional research at the neighborhood level (e.g., service-learning project); developing indicators to measure progress (see Age-Friendly Data story); hosting the first ever mayoral candidate forum in Portland focused on an age-friendly city; and joining the WHO and members of the Network at conferences and work sessions to further the development of the Network and to create age-friendly cities around the world.