August 19, 2012 at 8:42 pm | In links | Comments Off
What the Environment & Mobility Mean for the Nation’s Fastest-Growing Demographic | Project for Public Spaces
That last bit, re. the importance of town centers for rural areas, applies (in my opinion) equally to small cities. When cities “fling” their centers out to strip mall locations, they take away a key asset for an aging demographic (and a hipper, younger demographic, as well):
…Arthur C. Nelson, professor of city and regional planning at the University of Utah estimates that there are 39 million rental units in the US, and that number is expected to rise by between 9 and 12 million by 2020. He foresees a “flood of new rental units in many forms, from new apartment buildings; condo buildings converted to rental; accessory units attached to single-family houses; and existing owner-occupied houses that are flipped to rental.” But, he says, “The most popular locations will be mixed-use, transit-friendly neighborhoods”
What do you think is most important in terms of making communities more walkable and accessible for the aging population?
The main concerns have to do with Complete Streets, traffic calming, and connectivity. Issues the aging population faces often have to do with sensory loss. Making sure that there is adequate time to cross intersections, good lighting for visibility and safety at night, and having connected sidewalks for those who use canes or wheelchairs are some of the key things that communities can provide. In rural communities, having a town center is extremely important: a place where many different tasks can be accomplished in one area, like shopping for groceries, visiting the pharmacy, socializing with friends, and accessing day care facilities for those who care for grandchildren.
Q&A: Julie Corbett, founder and CEO, Ecologic Brands | SmartPlanet
Interesting observation on the importance of design, especially in eco-production.
Design has everything to do with what we’re about. People like to be sustainable, but they don’t want to compromise form and functionality. When you’re a packaging company, you have to be able to transcend different markets. I have to have a product that speaks to consumers no matter who they are — even if they’re not sustainability-minded. That’s how I make a difference. Design had everything to do with it, from gripability to comfort on the bottle. But then you have to be able to manufacture it. We’ve come up with the right combo.
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