Built Environment Seminar

The Australian Association of Gerontology (AAG) Victoria held a joint seminar with the Hallmark Ageing Research Initiative and the Master of Ageing on the topic of The Built Environment on May 11th 2016

Built Environment

Image back row: Dr Jane Sims, President of AAG Victoria, Dr Ralph Hampson, Event chair. Front row: Dr Angela Herd, Nick Lund, Professor Richard Fleming.

Speakers included Professor Alan Pert and Associate Professor Clare Newton from the University of Melbourne’s School of Design, Professor Takemi Sugiyama from the Institute of Health and Ageing at the Australian Catholic University, Dr Angela Herd from LaTrobe University, Professor Richard Fleming from the University of Wollongong, and Nick Lund from the City of Boroondara.

Topics of discussion included: older adults’ walking mobility and the impact on health and role of local environments; the environmental spaces in-between the hospital and the home; listening to older people about what matters to them in terms to housing design; dementia friendly design and communities; and moving toward age-friendly cities.

Some points of interest from the seminar:

  • NSW is more flexible than Victoria with regard to multi residence regulations
  • Canada has some very successful lane way housing
  • The developer-led housing model needs to change
  • When designing housing for older people, we need to remember who the client is
  • In Australia, 74% of people aged 85yrs+ live at home
  • Consider designing for 8-80 year olds
  • Safety and accessibility are key elements of age-friendly cities
  • Melbourne’s older suburbs are more walkable than the newer ones
  • Recreational walking - 11-20 minutes duration (1600m)
  • Utilitarian walking - to destinations within 10 minutes walk (800m)
  • Walking is key to the maintenance of health
  • Older adults should ideally be able to access services, community and social events within walking distance

The event ended with a vibrant panel discussion and many engaging questions from the audience

More Information

Jane Sims