Communities and Housing

Admiralty House, 26 Whitehall, London, SW1A 2WH, 17:00, 19 November 2007

An event to launch a new discussion paper called 'Towards Lifetime Neighbourhoods: Designing Sustainable Communities For All.

This event was organised jointly by the ILC-UK and Communities & Local Government to launch a new discussion paper considering the issue of 'lifetime neighbourhoods' and how we could better plan for them.

The paper explores how a more age-friendly vision of public spaces and community could boost social engagement, good health and the chances of 'active ageing' for all. This includes how the built environment could offer a more accessible, inclusive space for the frail or disabled, but looks further into what role services, amenities, social cohesion and sense of place play in the creation of 'lifetime neighbourhoods', and how they might interact to create communities that maximise health, wellbeing and social engagement.

Given the challenges of an ageing population, understanding how the built environment affects quality of life for older people is clearly a major issue for concern. It is clear that many of our communities are ill-prepared for future demographic change and are already failing older people today; according to Help the Aged, some one million older people report feeling trapped in their own homes, and approximately one third of older people leave their homes on average only twice a week.

The discussion paper was launched in conjunction with Communities and Local Government to promote public debate, in anticipation of the forthcoming National Strategy for Housing in an Ageing Society.

The event was chaired by Baroness Greengross, Chief Executive at the ILC-UK. Speakers at the event included:

  • Baroness Andrews, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Communities and Local Government
  • Ed Harding, Senior Researcher, ILC-UK and author of the paper
  • Gideon Amos, Chief Executive, Town and Country Planning Association
  • Paul Cann, Director of Policy, Help the Aged; and
  • Deborah Heeney, Strategy Director, Berkeley Group.