Salus journal

Healthy Planet. Healthy People.

Residential / Healthy Cities

European Healthcare Design 2019

Designing healthy multi-generational environments

By Paul Bell 19 Aug 2019 0

This paper will discuss various design approaches to treating the health issues of a multi-generational population through connecting healthy building principles with broader placemaking and housing policies.

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The UN predicts that there will be more than 500 cities with a population of more than 1 million people by 2030. But perhaps a more surprising metric is that by 2030, 60 per cent of urban populations will be under 18 years of age.

We’ll articulate an approach to sustainable development adopted across our recent projects and illustrated by the following: 

  1. Health and wellbeing: Connecting health with broader placemaking and housing policies to improve active travel infrastructure, providing good quality affordable housing, improving air quality, and providing attractive open spaces are principles that we apply to masterplanning and building design to positively impact on health and wellbeing. 
  2. Place and multi-generational community: Co-design processes on our Future Homes project, in collaboration with Newcastle University, have provided the opportunity to research the needs of a diverse cross-section of communities, including occupational therapists and mental health professionals, informing an understanding of aspirations, key design drivers, and challenges in developing places that support and promote multi-generational communities. 
  3. Housing: Adaptable and affordable urban housing provision is at the heart of creating quality multi-generational environments, in which our growing urban population can age well. Our senior living project for Central and Cecil is based on extensive research of northern European models and will pilot a flexible, menu-based approach to senior living settings, where residents can be independent, benefit from light-touch support, or receive substantial care services within the same development. 
  4. Accessibility: AllGo is a design collaboration that creates personalised, accessible environments across a variety of sectors, including the private rented, care and residential environments. 
  5. Digital connectivity: Our Future Homes project will ensure full connectivity throughout the development, allowing residents greater control to analyse and adapt their home and lifestyle.

By drawing together these themes, we’ll highlight opportunities to identify connections, promoting a research-based approach to design supporting inclusivity, wellbeing, connectivity and flexibility.

Organisations involved