Urban renewal and healthy ageing

Aerial view of high rise buildings in Hong KongNew urban developments are often discussed, but what about urban renewal projects?  Yung and Chan sought to find out more about the impact of urban renewal on older people who make up the majority of residents in established communities in Hong Kong. Their paper is a literature review in preparation for their study on healthy ageing and quality urban planning. 

Many large cities are facing similar issues – older districts house older and more marginalised residents. However, “… the urban renewal projects are often beset with social problems such as destruction of existing social networks, expulsion of vulnerable groups and adverse impacts on living environments. In response to the aging needs, it is recognized that the elders affected should provide with rehousing arrangement in the same district so that they could stay in their familiar community and maintain their social network. It is believed that urban renewal should play a vital role to support the other policy instruments to sustain healthy aging. In broad view, a much broader policy framework for the overall urban design in tackling the needs of the elderly in urban renewal projects is urgently needed”. Public housing renewal in Australia is grappling with this issue too.