Age-friendly communities where people of all ages live, work and play could be the way of the future. That means the desirability of age-segregated living could be on the way out. Many people will live 30 years after the age of 65 years. So time to re-think the notion of retirement and what that means for urban design and retirement villages.
An ABC article reports on the Longevity by Design Challenge. The idea of the challenge was to identify ways to prepare and adapt Australian cities to capitalise on our longevity bonus. It seems walled and gated age-segregated enclaves might have had their day. Instead, the future might hold more age-inclusive neighbourhoods where older people continue to contribute into late age. So, no more need for doom and gloom about population ageing.
Key points emerging from the challenge were inclusive infrastructure, people of all ages together, and a mobility “ecosystem” made up of different types of transport options. The underpinning principles turned out to be age-friendly communities, something the World Health Organization has promoted for more than ten years.
As an urban design challenge the design of homes suited for all ages was not included.
The ABC article is titled, Retirement villages have had their day: Baby boomers are rethinking retirement.