The AAA invited some of the worlds’ foremost design gurus to reimagine the relationship between our older selves and the built environment. Jeremy Myerson, Helen Hamlyn Professor of Design Royal College of Art, opened the session by pointing out that the majority of older people will not move into specialist housing or retirement villages. Most will be obliged to make do, adapting, and retrofitting their existing properties where possible.
As soon as my parents became eligible for Medicare, my siblings and I started nudging them about planning for their future. They were healthy at the time, but we found ourselves looking at their house with a fearful eye. It had lots of steps, narrow door frames and uneven floors, and it was a hundred miles from my sister, their nearest child. We could easily imagine a nightmare unfolding.
The world is designed against the elderly, writes Don Norman, 83-year-old author of the industry bible Design of Everyday Things and a former Apple VP.
It’s the mother of all untapped markets: the world’s 65-plus population. Already at a historical high of over 600 million people, it’s projected to hit a full billion by 2030, and 1.6 billion by 2050.
It’s clear that smart cities won’t happen overnight. Now is the time to begin the process of building integrated, tech-enabled cities, with a seamless flow between the different services provided for residents, commuters and visitors.
Through social workers, friends of friends and neighbors, the center tracked down 20 older New Yorkers living active lives and followed them through their daily routines.
Home renovations often center on upgrading the kitchen cabinets or selecting a new paint color for the bedroom, but as long as you are at it, a well-thought-out redesign might also include modifications to help you stay in your home as you grow older.
From a wheelchair-friendly home bathroom to computer equipment that’s easier on arthritic hands, student innovators from across California designed products and spaces to better serve individuals of all abilities for the USC Davis School of Gerontology’s Morton Kesten Universal Design Competition.
Earlier this month, Hartford unanimously approved its first major zoning overhaul since 1969.
The initiative, known as ZoneHartford, has been in the works for two years, and its formal
adoption marks a shift in the city’s priorities toward more walkable, bike-friendly neighborhoods. ZoneHartford emphasizes form-based code to preserve neighborhood character and includes best practices for complete streets. These practices, including required pedestrian refuges for longer crossings and curb extensions on busier streets, are designed to encourage walking within Hartford while improving driver visibility and pedestrian safety.