Ageing in Place

Growth in our cities and the subsequent need for responsible developments to ensure well connected, planned and functioning communities is currently a significant subject within Perth where the population is expected to increase by an additional half a million people within the next 18 years[1]. Strategies are now being put in place to combat the urban sprawl that defines our coastline and in doing so create a more contained, well-connected city in which communities are able to develop and flourish. In 2010, the Department of Planning authored a forward thinking document entitled Directions 2031, which suggests broadly increasing density across Perth through the rejuvenation of its urban cores.

In addition to this, Australia’s evolving demographics reveal that, alongside single person occupancy and the growing number of families with adult children living at home, housing situations for an increasingly ageing population need to be taken into account. Advances in health care and medicine have resulted in a population that is not only growing, but ageing as well. According to the Australian Housing and Urban Research Unit, by 2051 the percentage of people aged 65+ will double and those aged 85+ will have quadrupled. These figures demand that we adopt a new perspective on housing developments for aged and dependent people.

In 2011 Coda was appointed by the Town of Cambridge to assist in the review of their Town Planning Scheme and to suggest ways to increase density through infill development. Through this process an awareness of the need for age diverse housing was increasingly apparent and resulted in a specific scheme for a medium density infill development, which focused on the idea of ageing in place. This report discusses the scheme in greater depth and the consequent matters related to an ageing population.

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[1] Department of Planning Western Australian Government. (2010) Directions 2031 and Beyond: Metropolitan Planning Beyond the Horizon. Perth: Western Australian State Planning Commission.