Tristance Kee

Abstracts

2 Analyzing the Effectiveness of Elderly Design and the Impact on Sustainable Built Environment

Authors: Tristance Kee

Abstract:

With an unprecedented increase in elderly population around the world, the severe lack of quality housing and health-and-safety provisions to serve this cohort cannot be ignored any longer. Many elderly citizens, especially singletons, live in unsafe housing conditions with poorly executed planning and design. Some suffer from deteriorating mobility, sight and general alertness and their sub-standard living conditions further hinder their daily existence. This research explains how concepts such as Universal Design and Co-Design operate in a high density city such as Hong Kong, China where innovative design can become an alternative solution where government and the private sector fail to provide quality elderly friendly facilities to promote a sustainable urban development. Unlike other elderly research which focuses more on housing policies, nursing care and theories, this research takes a more progressive approach by providing an in-depth impact assessment on how innovative design can be practical solutions for creating a more sustainable built environment. The research objectives are to: 1) explain the relationship between innovative design for elderly and a healthier and sustainable environment; 2) evaluate the impact of human ergonomics with the use of universal design; and 3) explain how innovation can enhance the sustainability of a city in improving citizen’s sight, sound, walkability and safety within the ageing population. The research adopts both qualitative and quantitative methodologies to examine ways to improve elderly population’s relationship to our built environment. In particular, the research utilizes collected data from questionnaire survey and focus group discussions to obtain inputs from various stakeholders, including designers, operators and managers related to public housing, community facilities and overall urban development. In addition to feedbacks from end-users and stakeholders, a thorough analysis on existing elderly housing facilities and Universal Design provisions are examined to evaluate their adequacy. To echo the theme of this conference on Innovation and Sustainable Development, this research examines the effectiveness of innovative design in a risk-benefit factor assessment. To test the hypothesis that innovation can cater for a sustainable development, the research evaluated the health improvement of a sample size of 150 elderly in a period of eight months. Their health performances, including mobility, speech and memory are monitored and recorded on a regular basis to assess if the use of innovation does trigger impact on improving health and home safety for an elderly cohort. This study was supported by district community centers under the auspices of Home Affairs Bureau to provide respondents for questionnaire survey, a standardized evaluation mechanism, and professional health care staff for evaluating the performance impact. The research findings will be integrated to formulate design solutions such as innovative home products to improve elderly daily experience and safety with a particular focus on the enhancement on sight, sound and mobility safety. Some policy recommendations and architectural planning recommendations related to Universal Design will also be incorporated into the research output for future planning of elderly housing and amenity provisions.

Keywords: Sustainable built environment, Innovative Design, elderly population, universal design

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1 Sustainable Housing and Urban Development: A Study on the Soon-To-Be-Old Population's Impetus to Migrate

Authors: Tristance Kee

Abstract:

With the unprecedented increase in elderly population globally, it is critical to search for new sustainable housing and urban development alternatives to traditional housing options. This research examines concepts of elderly migration pattern in the context of a high density city in Hong Kong to Mainland China. The research objectives are to: 1) explore the relationships between soon-to-be-old elderly and their intentions to move to Mainland upon retirement and their demographic characteristics; and 2) What are the desired amenities, locational factors and activities that are expected in the soon-to-be-old generation’s retirement housing environment? Primary data was collected through questionnaire survey conducted using random sampling method with respondents aged between 45-64 years old. The face-to-face survey was completed by 500 respondents. The survey was divided into four sections. The first section focused on respondent’s demographic information such as gender, age, education attainment, monthly income, housing tenure type and their visits to Mainland China. The second section focused on their retirement plans in terms of intended retirement age, prospective retirement funding and retirement housing options. The third section focused on the respondent’s attitudes toward retiring in Mainland for housing. It asked about their intentions to migrate retire into Mainland and incentives to retire in Hong Kong. The fourth section focused on respondent’s ideal housing environment including preferred housing amenities, desired living environment and retirement activities. The dependent variable in this study was ‘respondent’s consideration to move to Mainland China upon retirement’. Eight primary independent variables were integrated into the study to identify the correlations between them and retirement migration plan. The independent variables include: gender, age, marital status, monthly income, present housing tenure type, property ownership in Hong Kong, relationship with Mainland and the frequency of visiting Mainland China. In addition to the above independent variables, respondents were asked to indicate their retirement plans (retirement age, funding sources and retirement housing options), incentives to migrate to retire (choices included: property ownership, family relations, cost of living, living environment, medical facilities, government welfare benefits, etc.), perceived ideal retirement life qualities including desired amenities (sports, medical and leisure facilities etc.), desired locational qualities (green open space, convenient transport options and accessibility to urban settings etc.) and desired retirement activities (home-based leisure, elderly friendly sports, cultural activities, child care, social activities, etc.). The finding shows correlations between the used independent variables and consideration to migrate for housing options. The two independent variables indicated a possible correlation were gender and the frequency of visiting Mainland at present. When considering the increasing property prices across the border and strong social relationships, potential retirement migration is a very subjective decision that could vary from person to person. This research adds knowledge to housing research and migration study. Although the research is based in Mainland, most of the characteristics identified including better medical services, government welfare and sound urban amenities are shared qualities for all sustainable urban development and housing strategies.

Keywords: Sustainable Environment, elderly migration, housing alternative, soon-to-be-old

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