Last edited 24 Nov 2015

Lifetime neighbourhoods

Lifetime neighbourhoods are “...places designed to be inclusive regardless of age or disability.” Ref DCLG.

In December 2011, The Department for Communities and Local Government published ‘Lifetime Neighbourhoods’, written by Mark Bevan and Karen Croucher.

The report states, “As we grow older we are more likely to spend more time at home, and where we live is an important determinant of our well-being. However, it is increasingly recognised that it is not just our homes, but also the neighbourhoods where we live that have a significant role in keeping us well and independent as we grow older.”

It suggests that the key components of a lifetime neighbourhood are:

  • "Resident empowerment: Resident-led activities to plan/deliver/evaluate features of lifetime neighbourhoods. Actions by community/voluntary/public/private sectors that empower residents to bring about the development and maintenance of features of lifetime neighbourhoods.
  • Access: Enable residents to get out and about in the areas in which they live – both physically and virtually – and connect with other people and services in the immediate neighbourhood and beyond.
  • Services and amenities: Neighbourhoods with a mix of residential, retail and employment uses. Affordable access to a range of services such as health, post offices, banking facilities or cash machines.
  • Built and natural environments: Built environments that promote safe, inclusive access to key services and facilities. Outdoor spaces and buildings that promote social contact. Locally accessible greenspace, and affordable access to natural environments.
  • Social networks / wellbeing: informal/formal opportunities and activities (social, learning/training, volunteering), where people feel safe and confident and which respect and reflect the needs of different ages, cultures and ethnicities.
  • Housing: A range of affordable housing choices based on inclusive design principles in order to meet the occupants’ needs across the lifecourse – space/layout within homes designed to meet changing needs."

Lifetime Homes, suggest that a lifetime neighbourhood is “…one in which civic and social processes together with physical conditions achieve the following outcomes:

  • An environment that is accessible and inclusive, aesthetically pleasing and safe (in terms of both traffic and crime).
  • A community that offers plenty of services, facilities and open space.
  • A strong social and civic fabric, including volunteering and informal networks.
  • A culture of consultation and user empowerment amongst decision makers.
  • A strong local identity and sense of place.”

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