Skip to main content

Age Friendly Public Realm

Age Friendly public space means that older people are actively involved in social, economic and cultural life. This creates better local environment for everybody’s benefit. Age Friendly Towns respond to what members of the community need as they age.

The design and maintenance of a community’s built environment and public realm can make the difference between a healthy and active lifestyle, or one characterised by limited mobility and high levels of social isolation.

When the environment is attractive and accessible, people of all ages can be supported to enjoy more active and connected lives.

Age Friendly Ireland developed a toolkit that communities, towns and neighbourhoods can use that will support making your area or town more age friendly. The toolkit provides the processes, practices and tools developed as part of the Age Friendly Towns Programme in Ireland. This toolkit can be found by visiting the Dublin City Council website.

Being age friendly in the public realm generally does not bring with it additional costs, but deliberate design changes made with the needs and wants of older people in mind can greatly improve older people’s lives, it is about small design considerations that greatly improve an area for older people. By designing for the old, we include the young which means that by focusing on older people we are planning for the needs of all ages.

“If you design for the young you exclude the old, but if you design for the old you include everyone”

Glenn Millar, Canadian Planner, Canadian Urban Institute