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Title: Social needs of the elderly and active aging in public open spaces in urban renewal
Authors: Yung, EHK 
Conejos, S
Chan, EHW 
Keywords: Active aging
Hong Kong
Open space
Social needs
Urban renewal
Issue Date: 2016
Publisher: Pergamon Press
Source: Cities, 2016, v. 52, p. 114-122 How to cite?
Journal: Cities 
Abstract: Urban renewal districts have a relatively high concentration of elderly people. Open spaces are important for the elderly for enhancing social interaction and active aging. However, planning and design of open spaces tend to stress on the physical and safety needs of the elderly, while social needs are not frequently addressed. This study intends to identify whether the social needs of the elderly regarding the use of public open spaces in urban renewal districts are addressed in the standard planning and design guidelines which newly planned development and districts are often based upon. Eight focus groups were conducted in elderly community centers in two urban renewal districts in Hong Kong. The results indicate that elderly people consider 'social and physical activities', 'community life facilities and services' and 'social network', as well as a 'clean and pleasant environment' to be their most important needs. Thus, planners and designers should take into consideration these criteria for enhancing the social well-being of the elderly and active aging in public open spaces in urban renewal. Furthermore, it stresses that urban renewal districts are part of the elderly's past living experiences and established social networks, which is not the case in new developments and areas. As such, the users' actual needs should be elicited rather than perceived by planners and designers.
ISSN: 0264-2751
EISSN: 1873-6084
DOI: 10.1016/j.cities.2015.11.022
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