Thursday, 9 January 2014

Urban Planning and Active Ageing

Statistics showing the two trends that in general a) society is getting older and b) the number of older people is increasing are not new and more or less well known. The need to adapt is a notion that seems to be comparatively less widely spread. In the field of urban planning that means that older people need to be involved as they often feel a stronger sense of isolation in cities than other age groups. One possible explanation is that older people are among the last to be included when it comes to decisions concerning urban development (via).

Philip Johnson wearing a model of his 1984 Pittsburgh landmark via

In 2011, the Dublin Declaration on Age-Friendly Cities and Communities was signed by more than forty cities, inspired by the World Health Organization's definition of active ageing as "the process of optimising opportunities for health, participation and security in order to enhance quality of life as people age, allowing people to realise their potential for physical, social and mental well-being throughout their lives and to participate in society according to their needs, desires and capabilities, while providing them with adequate protection, security and care when they require assistance" (via).

In the UK, Manchester is the first Age Friendly City. The projects comprise e.g. housing support, neighbourhood regeneration, cultural programmes, road safety, public health (e.g. free swimming and physical activity), local work, age-friendly design, and civic representation (via).

Beth Johnson Foundation & Manchester City Council Creating (2011) Age-friendly Places. A guide for cities, boroughs, towns or counties, councils, partners and communities (via)
Photos of Philip Johnson (1906-2005) via and via