Impact of local built environment attributes on the elderly sociability

four women using wheelie walkers are crossing the road in single file.This article focuses on the importance of social connectedness for older people and how this is essential for ongoing health and wellbeing. However, environments continue to be designed and built in ways that are often detrimental to older people being able to get out and about and socialise.

The research showed that the qualities of “safety”, “attractiveness” and “inclusiveness” respectively are the most influential factors on the sociability of older people. The results also determined that fear of injury is the most limiting factor in using urban spaces.

Download the article by H. Khosravi , F. Gharai, and Sh. Taghavi, in the International Journal of Architectural Engineering and Urban Planning.

Abstract: Due to the change of lifestyle and improvement of public health the number of aged people has considerably increased. Considering the relationship of the environment and people, the built environment features could exacerbate or facilitate the elderly people’s vulnerability and social needs. Recently, a large number of studies have put emphasis on the relationship between the neighborhoods’ open spaces attributes and seniors’ social needs. This study seeks to investigate the impact of the built environment indicators on the time the elderly spent in urban spaces of Banafsheh neighborhood in Mashhad. In order to do this, through a cross-sectional survey research, 33 indicators were collected from recent studies and categorized in seven main urban design qualities based on perceived and self-report data collected by questionnaire. A regression analysis revealed the impact of each quality on the sociability of the elderly. Results demonstrate that in this context, “safety” is the most effective factor on the elderly presence in open spaces. “Attractiveness” and “all age presence” are at the next points.