News: Exhibition highlights need for age-friendly neighbourhoods

Oct 18, 2019

The exhibition consists of design solutions and considerations for Singapore’s increasingly ageing population. Image credit: Lekker Architects

With one in four Singaporeans aged 65 or older by 2030, the latest Urban Lab exhibition turned their focus on design solutions that support seniors.

Organised by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA), the eighth instalment of the Urban Lab exhibition series covers ageing-related trends in Singapore, the need for age-friendly neighbourhoods and design considerations for nursing homes.

Among the projects exhibited are two collaborations between government agencies, design firms and research institutions which are targeted at providing practical design applications and principles for such environments.

Speaking at the launch of the exhibition, Minister of State for National Development and Manpower Zaqy Mohamad revealed that a study led by the Singapore University of Technology and Design found that a number of seniors within the MacPherson neighbourhoods were socially isolated, or either did not feel safe or confident to come out of their homes due to various impairments.

With this, Lekker Architects proposed the “Kam and Goh” kopitiam at void decks, which were found to be underutilised, to encourage seniors to venture out and interact with others.

He shared that the initiative was well-received by seniors within the neighbourhood, with 88 percent of those surveyed saying that they interacted with someone else at the mobile kopitiam.

The respondents also indicated their willingness “to leave home with such a feature below their blocks”.

“It is about bringing that familiarity, and that watering hole that seniors can come together. Rather than staying at home and being isolated, they found friends even in a place that they are quite familiar with,” added Zaqy.

Commenting on the exhibition, URA CEO Lim Eng Hwee, said: “As we plan and shape Singapore for the future, we have to take into account how people’s needs might change as they grow older. Hence this exhibition is a timely exploration of aspects and strategies that various players involved in shaping our built environment could consider, to support people in living healthy and happy lives.”

‘Designing Our Age-Friendly City’ exhibition will run until 31 December.

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Victor Kang, Digital Content Specialist at PropertyGuru, edited this story. To contact him about this or other stories, email victorkang@propertyguru.com.sg

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