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Occasional Research Papers

HMinfo Occasional Research Papers are individually commissioned research papers on existing or emerging issues in home design and home modifications for older people, for people with disability, or for carers. Read more

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A user appraisal of the contribution of built environment factors to the independence and wellbeing of older people in two NSW regional town centres

Authors: Catherine Bridge, Vijay Sivaraman, Margaret Kay, Aolly Li, Jason Thorne, and Laura Davy
Published: 21st November 2013
Audience: Consumers, Government/NGOs/Peaks, Industry, Librarians/Researchers/Students

Abstract

People over the age of 65 are an increasing demographic in regional cities, and there is a need for neighbourhood built environments to be as supportive as possible to enable the ageing in place of local residents. Knowledge of what older people regard as key issues of concern in their built environment is crucial to ensuring age-friendly towns. As part of a strategy to identify the most effective application of Local Government Authority resources to create age-friendly town centres, this project developed an innovative system for auditing the built environment from the perspectives of older people. An iPad application was developed to allow people on the move to audit issues with the built environment when they are encountered, which then collates the information for council action. This report outlines the new interactive system for auditing town centres, and presents the results of walk and talk auditing sessions and quality of life surveys conducted at two regional Australian cities, Tweed Heads and Wollongong, using this system.

Table of Contents

1 Introduction

   1.1 Background

   1.2 Aims and research questions

2 Methodology

   2.1 Research framework

        2.1.1 Regional cities sampling

        2.1.2 Defining 'Town Centre'

        2.1.3 Town centre walking zones

        2.1.4 Local government community engagement

    2.2 Research methods and tools

        2.2.1 iPad application

        2.2.2 Walk and talks

        2.2.3 Quality of life indicators

3 The Pilot Study

   3.1 Tweed Heads

        3.1.1 Quality of life survey

        3.1.2 Walk and talks

   3.2 Wollongong

        3.2.1 Quality of life survey

        3.2.2 Walk and talks

   3.3 Discussion: the walk and talks

        3.3.1 Outdoor spaces and buildings

        3.3.2 Community support and health services

        3.3.3 Summary of audit recommendations

   3.4 Discussion: QOL survey results

4 Future Steps

5 Conclusion

6 References

7 Appendices



Specialist Review Panel

NameOrganisationPanel
Professor Satoshi KoseDepartment of Architecture, Faculty of Design, Shizuoka University of Art and CultureResearch Panel
Jordana MaiselSchool of Architecture and Planning, University at BuffaloResearch Panel


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