Healthy Ageing and Neighbourhood Design: A Case Study in South Australia

By Alpana Sivam and Sadasivam Karuppannan.

Published by The International Journal of Aging and Society

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

It is well recognised that the population throughout the world is ageing. By 2021, an estimated 18% of the population will be aged 65 years and over, and close to four in every 10 households will be occupied by at least one older person, the majority living alone or in a couple. These demographic changes are producing economic, social, and personal challenges for society, families and individuals, and the issues for governments are numerous. In the developed world, the elderly population will exert significant pressure on the neighbourhood. Unfortunately, the existing built environment in Australia in the form of predominantly low density developments with high automobile dependency is not sympathetic to the needs of aged population. It is widely acknowledged that ageing of the society is a challenge for fiscal and social policy. However, there is little literature on planning policy for making neighbourhood design to support healthy ageing. The aim of this paper is to identify the relationship between neighbourhood design and healthy ageing. Neighbourhood consists of both housing and spaces in which we live and work. A triangulation approach is used to address the aim of the research. Both focus groups and household surveys were conducted in the state of South Australia to obtain the perception of the aged population on age friendly neighbourhood and housing options. The study concluded that there is a need to create a safe pedestrian environment; easy access to public transport, shopping centre and public facilities; and recreational facilities and nearby health centres. These elements can substantially improve the neighbourhood and can positively affect ageing.

Keywords: Ageing, Healthy Ageing, Neighbourhood, Built Environment

The International Journal of Aging and Society, Volume 2, Issue 3, pp.39-52. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 327.026KB).

Dr. Alpana Sivam

Lecturer, School of Natural and Built Environments, University of South Australia, Adelade, SA, Australia

Dr. Alpana is a lecturer of planning and urban design at the University of South Australia, Australia. She received her PhD in urban and regional planning from the University of Melbourne, Master in urban and regional planning from CEPT, Ahmadabad, India and Bachelor in architecture from Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee, India. She is an architect and a planner whose research interests intersect these two established professions. Her research has focused on the policy context for delivering sustainable built environment, affordable and sustainable housing, and age friendly cities and neighbourhood for both developed and developing countries. She also has research interests in issues of climate change and built environment, urban space/public space in different cultural context, environmental and cultural sustainability, architectural character and heritage, urban design, and urban development.

Dr. Sadasivam Karuppannan

Lecturer, School of Natural and Built Environments, University of South Australia, Adelaide, SA, Australia

Dr. Sadasivam Karuppannan is an urban and regional planner in the school of Natural and Built Environments at the University of South Australia. He teaches courses in introduction to regional and urban planning, land use planning, comparative planning, and planning information management. Recently, he spent four months at the school of Architecture and Planning, Anna University researching ecological footprinting and migration. The visit was funded by the Endeavour fellowship from the federal government of Australia.