Skip to main content

Towards the all-age friendly city

The All-Age-Friendly City project, carried out in Spring-Summer 2014, emerged from a desire to imagine the future city from the perspectives of those people – children and older adults – who are too often overlooked in the design and planning of cities today.

Today, reports on ‘the Smart City’ tend to make little or no mention of the wide variety of different age groups living in cities, or of the different and sometimes shared needs of a multi-generational city. This is not just an inevitable oversight that arises when working age adults design infrastructure. It is also a serious flaw in the design imagination shaping the future city: significant amounts of public expenditure go precisely to these age groups and to those institutions and services responsible for addressing the interests of children and older adults. If we want a future city that is adequate
to the people living in it, therefore, designers, policy makers, developers and planners need to think carefully about all ages and stages of life.

To begin to address this issue, the All-Age-Friendly City project brought together researchers working in childhood and aging, members of local government, artists, community groups, computer scientists, developers, planners and practitioners working with children and older adults, to develop
ideas about how cities might better meet the needs and interests of our oldest and youngest generations.

This first working paper builds on desk research and workshops conducted by the Graduate School of Education, University of Bristol, in collaboration with the Future Cities Catapult in Spring/Summer 2014. It outlines why designing the All-Age-Friendly city is an urgent contemporary concern, the resources that are available to us to do this, and identifies four key areas for future
development:

  • building intergenerational trust; 
  • encouraging encounters across generations;
  • re-imagining housing; and 
  • creating all-age-friendly transport systems. 


We are grateful to the TSB/Future Cities Catapult for funding the workshops, and to the Arts and Humanities Research Council for enabling Keri’s involvement as part of her Connected Communities Leadership Fellowship.  We are also grateful to the contributors to the workshops who contributed
their ideas and experience so generously.

This is the start, we hope, of a longer conversation about how we can create cities that are not just livable in terms of the technologies and infrastructure that underpin them, but that harness such infrastructure to generate experiments in humane, caring and empowered ways of life for all
generations.

We look forward to continuing the discussions with others who are interested in this aspiration.

---------
This blog has been reproduced by kind permission from the abstract of the report Towards the all-age friendly city.

It has been written by Cabot Institute members Keri Facer, Lindsey Horner, and Helen Manchester, Graduate School of Education, University of Bristol.

Read the press release Lego housing, automatic ambulances and car-free streets

Keri Facer
Helen Manchester

Popular posts from this blog

Bristol Future’s magical places: Sustainability through the eyes of the community

“What is science? Why do we do it?”. I ask these questions to my students a lot, in fact, I spend a lot of time asking myself the same thing.

And of course, as much as philosophy of science has thankfully graced us with a lot of scholars, academics and researchers who have discussed, and even provided answers to these questions, sometimes, when you are buried under piles of papers, staring at your screen for hours and hours on end, it doesn’t feel very science-y, does it?

 As a child I always imagined the scientist constantly surrounded by super cool things like the towers around Nicola Tesla, or Cousteau being surrounded by all those underwater wonders. Reality though, as it often does, may significantly differ from your early life expectations. I should have guessed that Ts and Cs would apply… Because there is nothing magnificent about looking for that one bug in your code that made your entire run plot the earth inside out and upside down, at least not for me.

I know for myself, I…

The new carbon economy - transforming waste into a resource

As part of Green Great Britain Week, supported by BEIS, we are posting a series of blogs throughout the week highlighting what work is going on at the University of Bristol's Cabot Institute for the Environment to help provide up to date climate science, technology and solutions for government and industry.  We will also be highlighting some of the big sustainability actions happening across the University and local community in order to do our part to mitigate the negative effects of global warming. Today our blog will look at 'Technologies of the future: clean growth and innovation'.



On Monday 8 October 2018, the IPCC released a special report which calls upon world governments to enact policies which will limit global warming to 1.5°C compared with pre-industrial levels, failure to do so will drastically increase the probability of ecosystem collapses, extreme weather events and complete melting of Arctic sea ice. Success will require “rapid and far-reaching” actions in…

Will July’s heat become the new normal?

For the past month, Europe has experienced a significant heatwave, with both high temperatures and low levels of rainfall, especially in the North. Over this period, we’ve seen a rise in heat-related deaths in major cities, wildfires in Greece, Spain and Portugal, and a distinct ‘browning’ of the European landscape visible from space.

As we sit sweltering in our offices, the question on everyone’s lips seems to be “are we going to keep experiencing heatwaves like this as the climate changes?” or, to put it another way, “Is this heat the new norm?”

Leo Hickman, Ed Hawkins, and others, have spurred a great deal of social media interest with posts highlighting how climate events that are currently considered ‘extreme’, will at some point be called ‘typical’ as the climate evolves.
In January 2007, the BBC aired a special programme presented by Sir David Attenborough called "Climate Change - Britain Under Threat".

It included this imagined weather forecast for a "typical s…