Inclusive street furniture creating an Age Friendly environment
The needs of the older population are often neglected during the design of Public Realm projects. There has been a major shift in the distribution of population towards older ages and this has considerable implications for the way that society works, the services that will need to be provided and the relationship between people of all ages.
An Age Friendly approach to the design of Public Realm environments will ensure that older people can live full and healthy lives, participating in and contributing to their communities. Most importantly, the priorities for an Age Friendly scheme can be decided by older people themselves. It is not based on assumptions made by designers and councils, it is based on first hand information from older people in the community to enable inclusive products and services to meet the wider variation of needs and aspirations of older people. The way an area looks and how safe it feels has a big impact on older people’s confidence and motivation.
Age Friendly planning considerations in Cities and Counties can establish ways of working that are more efficient, eliminate duplication of work, save scarce and valuable resources while at the same time providing more accessible and better planned services, improved and safer public places and opportunities to socialise and participate in the community in a real and meaningful way in an Age Friendly environment.