Ageing in urbis: Growing old in tomorrow’s city
The number of those aged 60 or over is expected to more than double by 2050 and to more than triple by 2100, rising from 962 million globally in 2017 to 2.1 billion in 2050 and 3.1 billion in 2100. Virtually every country in the world will be impacted by this social transformation and the success of cities will be increasingly tied to the productivity and integration of their ageing population.
As cities’ populations live and work longer, what do we need to do to ensure that a variety of generations can continue to live, work and play safely and healthily in tomorrow’s cities? How should we design and develop the built environment to facilitate this?
Key themes from the debate were:
- There is an urgent need for many more homes suited for us to live in to the end of our days. If the market can’t or won’t deliver, there is a role for regulation and planning control.
- Just as important is the need for varied and flexible homes, adapting and using existing building stock: perhaps taxation can be used to kick start the later living home market in the way Help To Buy has supported the first home buyer
- Affordability will remain a concern. Housing solutions for the ageing population supported by new funding and legal models will need to evolve to address this – in return the contribution to society which the elderly can make may need to be explored and valued
- Public spaces need more thoughtful design to work for citizens of all ages in tomorrow’s city and resulting change may see a new healthier high street
- Technology excludes some older people at the moment, but could have a beneficial role in future as today’s digital savvy citizens become more senior. The law can offer protection and safeguards against abuse.
- Finally it’s all a state of mind! A positive attitude to age brings a longer, and more enjoyable life
- Lord Best , Co-Chair of the APPG on Housing and Care for Older People
- Ben Page, Chief Executive, Ipsos Mori and Trustee of the Centre for Ageing Better
- Julia Park, Head of Housing Research at Levitt Bernstein and co-author of: ‘Age Friendly Housing: Future design for older people’
Date: Wednesday 20 June 2018