The U.S. Census reports that by the year 2011, a citizen will turn 65 every 8 seconds. By the year 2030, more than half of all Americans will be over the age of 50 and one in every five persons will be age 65 or older. At the same time 2010 marked the fist time in modern history that more people lived inside city limits than in suburbs and rural neighborhoods.
Designers must begin planning now for this dramatic demographic shift. It is equally important to note that as the population continues to get older, many Americans are faced with a new set of circumstances. Therefore, it is necessary to develop urban communities that are adaptable or “universally designed” to meet the needs and abilities of multiple generations.
AARP has defined a Livable Community to be “one that has affordable and appropriate housing, supportive community features and services, and adequate mobility options. Together these facilitate personal independence and the engagement of residents in civic and social life.”
Phase One of the three year Creating Community Competition, “Planning” asks students to investigate how a mixed-use, multi-generational community can not only fit within a city but how it can improve the lives of all people that live, work and play in the surrounding area. While open to any student, the competition is designed for advanced young designers.
To learn more about the competition and register, visit http://www.aias.org/aarp