Towards interdisciplinary innovation in the design of urban care spaces

An interdisciplinary group of academics and practitioners came together on invitation of SDHI and the Geddes Institute of Urban Research at the University of Dundee to discuss the future of care space design in urban environments. The group consisted of architects, town planners, geographers, psychologist, artists, occupational therapists, computing specialists and nurses. As demographics are changing towards an increasingly aging population who predominantly live in single households there has also been a reduction in care home places and a move towards providing personal and health care in people’s home environments. At the symposium implications of these developments on the design of homes, services and age-friendly cities was examined. The role of urban greenspaces and technology was highlighted as much as the need to engage communities in planning efforts. Communication is essential and planers need to be cognisant of people traditionally left out of planning efforts (e.g. People with communication disabilities or learning disabilities). Also it is important to consider how different individuals and population groups experince and perceive their environment. The importance of links between home, hospital and community environments was highlighted and the need to assist ‘vulnerable’ citizens with the navigation of complex communities and services. We will provide further summaries and updates of this event soon.