What Would an Elderly-Friendly City Look Like?

London-based Transport for All bemoans the inaccessibility of our urban environs for older residents. In this article, they ask designer Neil Chambers how he would design a city to 'facilitate an active and flexible lifestyle for the elderly.'

1 minute read

July 25, 2013, 5:00 AM PDT

By Jonathan Nettler @nettsj


"The current conversation about redesigning cities usually focuses on Boomers or Millennials, two extremes of the age spectrum. However, the largest proportion of people are between 30 and 64 years old. Everyone will eventually be elderly, a reality no one can escape," says Chambers. "The best cities in the world like New York, Berlin, and Tokyo market themselves as meccas for young, energetic people that promise diversity and innovation. This generates a lack of ideal architecture for people over the age of 65 and shuts the door on them, depriving us of the knowledge, stability, and experience they provide to our civilization."

To test out some ideas for how to better integrate the elderly in urban life, Chambers and his team proposed a project for Brooklyn's DUMBO neighborhood that "embraced young and old with buildings that commission graffiti, have ramps for golf carts, and provide a mix for all ages."

Tuesday, July 9, 2013 in Bettery Magazine

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