Insight

Multigenerational communities: who’s doing what

We know all the buzz words at Luma Marketing because we work with clever clients doing interesting things.

Regents Regeneration was the headline sponsor of the Agile Ageing Alliance’s annual congress which – as it sounds – brought like-minded people together to share insights, exploits and questions around the future of our ageing world.

Regents Regeneration aren’t the only ones considering the future of our communities and the UK is not the only country with an ageing population. At the Agile Ageing Alliance Congress, we heard insights from innovators from Italy, Norway, Switzerland, Israel and Asia.

Key innovations, insights and commitments included:

Jonathan Parnes from Regents Regeneration outlining their commitment to multigenerational living in Coventry. They have cut their margins, created multi-sector partnerships and are building new communities in time for Coventry’s tenure as UK Capital of Culture in 2021. Simon Bayliss from HTA Design introduced projects his practice is working on. Both speakers talked about using smart technology in commuities which incorporate public realm and not too many cars.

Matt Teague from Tata Steel discussed the need to fund – and live – a 100 year life, transferring the idea of a portfolio career to a portfolio life. He shared the ethos of Tata – they are also values led – and historically so, being owned by a charity. Who knew?

Conversations weren’t esoteric. Victoria Hills, CEO of RTPI discussed the role of planners in helping to create multigenerational neighbourhoods. This included the need for non-crowded environments, places to rest, lighting and toilets. An intelligent and passionate volunteer representative from Help the Aged later added ‘handrails’ to this list and stressed the need for toilets and good acoustics.

A key message was the importance of inclusivity and the need to include those we are designing for in the design process. Another key messahe was that designing for the most vulnerable – including those with dementia – means a better-designed community for eveyone.

So much more was shared. We learned a tonne. And we met interesting people who are doing things – not just talking about doing things.

This means it was the best kind of event.

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Designing out car use is key for us all; it needs radical thinking and political will though. Good luck to Jonathan Parnes and Coventry in their efforts with this.

By Active Travel Trev

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