Guidelines for Planning for Older People in Public Open Space

Seating Design
Seating Design   Drawing: Steph Vajda

What do older people need in the public spaces in residential areas?


Sadly, not what’s currently being provided.

A huge body of evidence-based research chronicles the specific needs of older people in the urban environment.

The jury has been back for decades. But now, as the Baby Boomers begin to turn from the care of their older parents to thinking about THEMSELVES in their housing environments, they find that things are not always to their liking.


For decades, I have been working on the social design aspects of planning and designing housing and residential areas for older people. I’ve conducted post-occupancy evaluations and written scores of guidelines.

A recent conversation with a colleague who is expert in this field led me to collate some earlier work into a set of simple guidelines.


To download the guidelines, click here: Older people in residential public open space


Thanks in particular to Beauford Stenberg and Steph Vajda. Other contributors are acknowledged in the paper.


Outdoor Community Space  Drawing: Steph Vajda
Outdoor Community Space                     Drawing: Steph Vajda