Neighbourhood Environment and the Elderly’s Ageing-in-place Experiences in Singapore Public Housing – A Case Study of Boon Teck Neighbourhood


To confront ageing challenges and opportunities, “ageing-in-place” (AIP) is promoted by public policy and preferred by the elderly. Neighbourhood is where the elderly’s daily needs and preferences are accommodated. Although there are large volumes of literature about AIP, the majority are divorced from places of ageing. Taking Boon Teck neighbourhood as a case study, this paper aims to investigate the interactions between neighbourhood environment and the elderly in Singapore’s high-rise high-density context and how neighbourhood environment contributes to the elderly’s independent living. Field observation and semi-structured interview are conducted in Boon Teck. Direct observation is conducted for 3 days from 5:00am to 9:00pm, followed by structured observations of the elderly’s primary destinations. Semi-structured interview with 30 elderly persons (aged 55 years old and above) is carried out using convenience sampling and quota sampling. The participants (female=15, male=15) cover different age groups (i.e., 55-64, 65 & above) and different ethnicities (i.e., Chinese, Malay, Indian). This study concludes that factors associated with high-rise high-density environment, such as proximity and accessibility of amenities, play an important role in the elderly’s independent living. Except from the built environment, the software, such as programming and management facilitates the formulation of social support networks and promotes independence and interdependence of the elderly persons. The results hope to benefit the development of age-friendly neighbourhoods in global vertical cities.

Author Information
Yuxin Cao, National University of Singapore, Singapore
Chye Kiang Heng, National University of Singapore, Singapore
John Chye Fung, National University of Singapore, Singapore

Paper Information
Conference: AGen2019
Stream: Aging and Gerontology

This paper is part of the AGen2019 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon