Planning and an Aging Population

Planning for all age groups is an inviolable principle; in practice, however, planners have been unduly preoccupied with certain age groups. Like the post-war housing boom, the approach to community development and planning has been child- or family-centered. Most significant advances in school and recreation planning, in subdivision design, and even in neighborhood planning, sprang originally from a conception of the needs of the young family with children. And yet we live in an aging society. The impact of this pronounced shift in age composition on community services, on urban form and on economic activity is beginning to be realized. As background and setting for this report, both the factors accounting for the current, widespread interest in problems of the elderly and a review of significant developments in the field of housing for the aged will be discussed.