Age-friendly housing: Future design for older people

Cover Age-Friendly Housing 160

Age-Friendly Housing: Future design for older people (opens new window), by RIBA bookshop, sets a new bar for the design of future housing for an ageing population. It reminds us that when we consider the hopes and needs of ‘older’ people, we are talking not about ‘other people’, but about ourselves.

Longer lifetimes are now a well-documented, global phenomenon. In 2016, 18% of UK citizens were aged 65 or above. By 2036, this is expected to rise to 25% in half of all local authorities in the UK.

Written by Julia Park, leading architect and researcher, and Jeremy Porteus, national expert in housing for older people, Age-Friendly Housing explores the significant progress that has taken place over the last decade and considers what more should be done.

Building on the influential HAPPI report (opens new window) published in 2009, it focuses on anticipating the needs and aspirations of the next generation of older people, the book touches on what this implies for our communities, towns and cities, as well as living spaces – illustrating the links between housing, health and social care. 

Age-Friendly Housing features mainly new build housing, with a dedicated section on adaptation and refurbishment. Bringing together a wide range of informed perspectives on the subject, the book outlines the underlying design principles to be applied and the early decisions to be taken, using the case studies and contributions of some of the top names in the field to detail examples of best practice. In doing so, Park and Porteus have created a resource that will inform and empower architects, designers, planners and clients to be braver and wiser in designing with older people in mind.

Jeremy Porteus commented:

Our ageing population demands that we have a radical rethink in the way we design and build our homes to meet our future needs and lifestyle choices. In this publication, we have captured how this can be achieved in both mainstream and specialist housing for older people, drawing on inspiring innovative examples from home and abroad.

Discussing the book, Julia Park said:

We hope that it represents a major step forward in the debate about how we can live better, as we live longer.

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