A new trend in senior living is calling for an increase in urban designs amongst older adult communities. McKnight’s Senior Living reports on changes being made as a response to the baby boomer generation’s preference for urban designs, and highlights a few of those reasons. An urban design is a senior community in an urban area (as opposed to suburban or rural), where there is usually a bustling downtown and public transportation.
Boomers are a unique generation in the sense that they are recreating what retirement looks like. Many of them want to remain active and productive; some even continue to work part-time. This is one major reason urban designs appeal to baby boomers, because that type of design can offer opportunities to stay active, collaborate with others, and grow their networking circles. Another reason is that boomers place an emphasis on holistic wellness, which includes lifelong learning and social engagement—both of which an urban setting can readily offer. Urban environments allow for access to public transportation, which can both be a community connector for older adults, and a money saver as it reduces residents’ needs for cars.
Senior living expects more development in urban environments, as it provides a wonderful opportunity to diversify communities, allowing for an influx of mixed-income and mixed-age older adults who have sought out this specific type of community likely because of their interest in maintaining an active retirement while expanding their social and professional networks.
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Banta, D. (2022). How urban design can fulfill senior living needs for baby boomers. McKnight’s Senior Living. https://www.mcknightsseniorliving.com/home/columns/guest-columns/how-urban-design-can-fulfill-senior-living-needs-for-baby-boomers/