The City Is My Oyster, Which I With Walking Stick Will Open: How can urban design support older adults’ social inclusion?
Cutting-edge scientific technology and social advancements have changed our demography drastically. As a consequence, society is ageing. This phenomenon demands new solutions in urban design to accommodate diverse groups of people, sometimes with opposing requirements. Poor maintenance conditions and inappropriate design can prevent older adults from using public urban spaces by inducing a perception of lack of safety. Also, a growing concern is the coexistence of older pedestrians with mobility scooters and silent electric cars in places of public activity. Reflecting on these issues, the thesis argues that socio-political participation and perpetual interdisciplinary contribution between older individuals and other stakeholders (architects, planners, authorities) are primordial to create an inclusive design for an ageing society.