High-Density Ageing-Friendly Neighbourhoods: Multi-Sensorial Perspective


Multi-sensorial, emotional and symbolic interactions with space are critical to our experience, use and appreciation of built environments and profoundly shape our overall sense of well-being. However, our contemporary cities are often either sensory overwhelming or sensory deprived, while design practices keep embracing values of ocularcentrism and pragmatism. In result, cities keep generating stressful conditions and inequality, instead of becoming healing, empathetic, sensitive and inclusive environments for all.The aim of this paper is to discuss the role of sensory experience in planning and designing healthier neighbourhoods in high-density contexts for all ages. Creating health-supportive and ageing-friendly environments goes beyond passive and non-integrated provision of healthcare and eldercare facilities, universal design, hygiene and safety. Instead, subjective multi-sensorial experience, overall ambience and culture-specific clues (among others) become the agenda for age-sensitive neighbourhood design. Housing neighbourhoods are seen as supportive 'devices' with capacities to build up residents' physical and mental ability levels, independence and social support, sense of dignity and self-esteem, at different stages of ageing, especially due to associated declines in sensory, motor and cognitive functions with ageing.This paper outlines the research framework that proposes multi-sensory approach to evaluating and designing ageing-friendly neighbourhoods. It summaries methods and preliminary findings of the pilot study conducted in two Singaporean high-density neighbourhoods that employed ethnographic explorations, fieldwork experiments and sensory mapping, while proposing further research directions to capture and analyse both quantitative and qualitative, objective and subjective, sensory data and daily rhythms of housing environments from the perspective of elderly users.

Author Information
Zdravko Trivic, National University of Singapore, Singapore
Darko Radovic, Keio University, Japan
Raymond Lucas, University of Manchester, United Kingdom
Kelvin E. Y. Low, National University of Singapore, Singapore

Paper Information
Conference: AGen2018
Stream: Aging and Gerontology

This paper is part of the AGen2018 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon