Architects for Urban Aging – Postscript

Should the holiday season goal to be “befriend an architect”? Yes I will. Architect Matthew Barac was a perfect choice as the closer to the Royal Institute of British Architects report – Silver Linings: The Active Third Age and The City.

Let’s postscript this blog series with a quote from him as we contemplate urban aging in those 2030 cityscapes:

“…other scenarios envisage a future underpinned by an emphatically different ethic, one which admits unwelcome truths…statistics about loneliness in later life, a lack of housing choice for many as they grow old, especially those who feel consigned to an old people’s home believing they have been abandoned by their family and infantilised by society.”

Barac goes on to say that these stories may seem inevitable. (Well, these stories are happening now.) And he says; “… but they are the result of the world we have made for ourselves. This world manifest most enduringly in cities that often unwittingly… exclude, marginalize and isolate the elderly, could be otherwise.” Sobering reflections for year’s end.

All this as the pension reform conversation (and how we’re going to finance our longevity), heats up a cold winter. We can’t avoid the winter or the pension reform confrontation any more than we can any of the social issues related to urban aging. RIBA’s 2030 scenario playing for an urban future invites us to contribute more to the discussion. We can have more creative control or choice in the design and development of housing and community living.

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