Architect Matthew Barac is a senior lecturer and research lead in the architecture program at the London South Bank University. Reading his impressive profile you get a strong sense that he is globally well respected and sought after for his foresights regards urban design.
Barac’s comments on urban aging close the RIBA report – Silver Linings: The Active Third Age and The City. The six 2030 scenarios set out here for the UK can be adapted and overlaid within the context of many urban settings around the world. Commenting on these he says: “…these impending changes challenge us to re-imagine the future; an altered balance between young and old will determine, in the years ahead, almost every aspect of our experience.”
Does it not mean clearly, that this conversation around an “altered balance” can’t just belong to an assembly of ripened thid-agers? The heading to Barac’s comments is “Urban Adaptation Under the Influence of Well-aged Citizens”. Regardless of age, we all should have influence on how our cities need to adapt to an aging population. I know this point is not lost on Matthew Barac.
To his point, there is at least enough evidence that affluent well-aged citizens assembled in their large numbers have the economic, social and political clout to make change and to shape their future urban aging scenarios.
But hopefully the next group of third-agers I meet can raise their visions above their eyebrows and think about how to consider the inclusion of others of a less-ripe age.