Over the next twenty years, the number of Australians over the age of 65 is expected to double. Current policy initiatives emphasise ‘ageing in place’ whereby older people are encouraged to remain in the community, rather than move into institutional care. It is argued that ageing in place benefits individual health, social cohesion and increasingly, links are being made to the form and sustainability of our urban environment. This cross-disciplinary paper is a result of collaboration between researchers in architecture, construction management and population health. The outcomes of a study, undertaken by the authors, that combined subjective and objective measures of two residential suburbs within Newcastle (NSW, Australia) are discussed in relation to the links between the health of the ageing population and urban form; a significant national and international issue that is now only beginning to be adequately addressed through research. The outcomes of the study show that there is a relationship between the visual character and urban form of a locality, and the quality of life of its residents. This relationship also exists at the scale of individual streets, and this is discussed from the perspective of the potential scenarios for the design of residential urban space for ‘ageing in place'.
44th Annual Conference of the Australian and New Zealand Architectural Science Association (ANZAScA 2010). On the Edge: Conference Papers of the 44th Annual Conference of ANZAScA (Auckland, New Zealand 24-26 November, 2010)