Jo Conaglen’s teaching and research focus is health and wellness of older adults and enabling environments. Age-friendly literature and research reinforces participation as social and civic activities. Nonetheless, there is diversity in older age and consequently the day-to-day lived experience of participation. The phenomenological study Jo will co-present gathered narratives from 15 community-dwelling adults aged 85+ years living in the inner city. Their stories offer a more nuanced perspective to participation that reinforces the importance of understanding the reality of day-to-day living in city neighbourhoods. Cities wanting to be age-friendly need to plan and design for lively and inclusive neighbourhoods.