Connections, Community, and the Science of Loneliness

Can urban form help address the loneliness that so often accompanies aging? In a new blog post, Hazel Borys examines some remedies for severed connections.
February 12, 2013, 6am PST | Scott Doyon
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"On my last trip to see my aging parents, I was struck again by the loneliness that comes from diminished connections. They are both inspiring people, and in their younger years were notably adept at making connections with and for others. And at helping people see the good in each other, in themselves, and in the communities they call home."

"However, over time those connections are slowly dissolving. While there’s little to be done at this stage, this experience reaffirms the expediency of staying connected as long as we can to all the networks – internal and external – that make for wellness."

Hazel Borys goes on to talk about some urban design and land use law modifications that reattach some of these severed connections, including enabling cottage courts, pocket neighborhoods, and general walkability that can combat social isolation. Once places recognize the need for some of these fixes, a number of pitfalls often stand in the way of getting local laws to implement healthy places. Borys discusses 10 of the most common.

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Published on Monday, February 11, 2013 in PlaceShakers
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