Age-friendly Urban Living Environment and Quality of Public Space

Habe, Nina Alisa and Degros, Aglaée and Lichtblau, Andreas (2021) Age-friendly Urban Living Environment and Quality of Public Space. CITIES 20.50 – Creating Habitats for the 3rd Millennium: Smart – Sustainable – Climate Neutral. Proceedings of REAL CORP 2021, 26th International Conference on Urban Development, Regional Planning and Information Society. pp. 33-39. ISSN 2521-3938

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Due to the corona crisis and its consequences for the target group 65+, the term autonomy and self-determination in old age was assigned a further great meaning and is becoming extremely important. 43 percent of corona deaths in Austria are residents of retirement and nursing homes. Mental illnesses as a result, caused by isolation, such as restrictions on going out and visiting by others and the fear of dying alone. All of these are factors that drastically reduce the demand for the traditional nursing home as a residence for the 65+ target group. And still, we are right in the middle of the age shift due to demographic change, which increase the need for adaptation of the living environment. The over 65-year-old population in Europe is forecast to increase by an average of up to 55% by 2050. Housing in connection with the urban environment is an essential factor to remain autonomous.Housing must not be considered in isolation, but in context. Here, not only one's own home plays an important role, but also public space and open space. This paper will use the research survey of 307 people of the 65+ target group living in Graz to investigate what conditions need to be met in order to create an age-friendly district where people 65+ can live autonomously. Questions were asked in the areas of digitalisation, social life, infrastructure and mobility, in relation to habit and relevance. 86% would not think of changing their residence, the idea of leaving one's own home to become dependent is not widely accepted. Here, the public space in the immediate vicinity of the housing situation is a decisive factor because it is a place of social interaction. A place where collective life is created. Loneliness in old age is often accompanied by the lack of accessibility to public spaces. How should public space be designed for the daily walk? What distances are manageable for daily errands? Living in connection with the external context, such as a barrier-free accessible green space, is important for over 95 percent of the target group. The daily route must be barrier-free and easily manageable. Infrastructure, mobility and public space play a major role here. Homes and their associated open spaces must have alternative concepts to strengthen connections and promote community. Using the survey results as a foundation for a senior-friendly city, this paper looks at factors for a better quality of life. In view of demographic change, urban development must go hand in hand with the requirements of public space. Based on the survey a principle recommendation for the transformation of public space are suggested. It means high-quality designed public spaces in combination with easily accessible, barrier-free mobility and infrastructure.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: urban living environment, public space, age-friendly, mobility, autonomy
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
N Fine Arts > NA Architecture
Depositing User: REAL CORP Administrator
Date Deposited: 24 Sep 2021 16:14
Last Modified: 17 Oct 2021 17:08

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