Reclaiming Social Space: Adapting Neighbourhoods to Support an Ageing Population
The age structure of New Zealand’s population is expected to undergo a dramatic change in the next few decades. By 2050, it is thought that approximately one quarter of the population will be aged 65+. Research indicates that the overwhelming preference of older adults is to age in their own homes and communities if possible. However, loneliness among community-dwelling older adults is widespread. Architecture as a discipline has unique potential to critique existing neighbourhood design and generate creative solutions to provide a more socially fulfilling environment for residents to age in place. Architecture for ageing must combat loneliness and enable continued contact in later life. This research explores the sensitive adaptation of inner suburban Wellington neighbourhoods with the aim of empowering inhabitants to age positively in the community.