Designing cities for active ageing

A walkable built environment plays a crucial role in sustainable, age-friendly communities. 

The world is undergoing increasing urbanisation. At the same time, average life expectancy is rising, and older people comprise a growing proportion of the world’s population. 

One in 7 people were aged 65 or over in Australia in 2017.

Increased physical activity is one of the key ways to improve longevity of life. Evidence shows the design of cities, towns, streets and buildings can help Australians to lead heart-healthy lives. 

Heart disease is still Australia’s biggest killer. For over 60 years, the Heart Foundation has worked to lower its rates. 

Hassell is collaborating with the foundation to promote age-friendly design that improves walkability. 

Walk Wise’ is an active ageing project in partnership with the University of Western Australia (UWA).

The university’s Social Care and Social Ageing Living Lab looks at issues facing ageing populations. It involves academics, industry and end-users, with person-centred, co-design, and social innovation methodologies.

These collaborations promote grassroots, community initiatives that push to design cities for the health and wellbeing of all residents.”

  • Robina Crook, Hassell Senior Associate. Winner of the 2019 NAWIC Social Responsibility in Construction Award.

We’ve worked with the foundation since 2013 on the award winning Healthy Active by Design website – a practical resource that helps planners, developers and local governments to design active communities.

Its toolkit has checklists, evidence and case studies for the design and construction of healthy streets, towns and cities. 

We also worked with Edith Cowen University on the Healthy Built Food Environment toolkit to improve community access to healthy food. 


November 19, 2019


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