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Improving Cities for Older Residents

Demographic change means older city dwellers. Entrepreneurs and developers are searching for better ways to serve this community.
January 4, 2017, 2pm PST | Casey Brazeal | @northandclark
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Nejc Vesel

As people live longer, cities must accommodate the needs of the elderly. In a recent article for The Guardian, Matthew Wheeland investigates what that means. For a start, the way retired people live gives them different challenges. People who don't work and don't commute use the city's infrastructure in different ways. Older residents can also find cities isolating, "A study of over-60s by the University of California, San Francisco found 43% of those surveyed felt lonely on a regular basis," Wheeland Reports. "Exacerbating the problem is that as people age they are less likely to move, "… only 4% of older people moved in the past year, compared to 13% of under-65s," Wheeland writes.

Some entrepreneurs and developers have seen opportunities in tackling these problems. The online service Silver Nest connects empty-nesters and other baby boomers with housemates who are looking to save money and avoid living alone. The developer of Serenbe in the Atlanta area is looking to build an apartment to connect people of different ages. "The aim of Serenbe is to tackle the social isolation people can experience as they age, either because they live in cities that are failing to meet the needs of older people, or because the retirement homes or communities they move into can leave them feeling cut off," Wheeland reports. 

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Published on Friday, December 9, 2016 in The Guardian
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