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Supporting ageing through design

Research and innovations to improve neighbourhoods and nursing homes in response to needs of ageing population on display
  Published: 17 October 2019

Design solutions that support the ageing of Singaporeans as more live longer and healthier lives, are the focus of the latest Urban Lab exhibition launched today.

Organised by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA), the eighth instalment of the Urban Lab exhibition series was opened by the Minister of State for National Development and Manpower Zaqy Mohamad at the URA Centre.

Singaporeans have one of the world’s highest life expectancies. Meanwhile, the elderly are forming an increasingly larger proportion of the population – one in four Singaporeans will be aged 65 or older in 2030, compared to today’s one in seven. At the same time, more of the elderly are living alone – approximately 83,000 seniors will be living alone in 2030, compared to 43,000 currently.

In light of these trends, the exhibition ‘Designing Our Age-Friendly City’ considers how the built environment can support Singaporeans as they age. It examines how the designs of our neighbourhoods can help people comfortably age-in-place, as well as how the designs of nursing homes can evolve to provide comfort, relevant care and better assimilation within neighbourhoods.

Among the projects exhibited, are two collaborations among government agencies, research institutions and design firms, targeted at providing practical design applications and principles for these environments1.

Broadly, the exhibition covers:

  1. Ageing-related trends in Singapore.

  2. The need for age-friendly neighbourhoods and how they can be designed to be safe, engaging, inclusive and supportive of health and wellness. (More details in Annex A [PDF, 469kb])

  3. Design considerations for nursing homes and how these can continue to evolve to support the needs of residents, staff and caregivers, as well as the surrounding community. (More details in Annex B [PDF, 300kb])

“As we plan and shape Singapore for the future, we have to take into account how people’s needs might change as they grow older. Hence this exhibition is a timely exploration of aspects and strategies that various players involved in shaping our built environment could consider, to support people in living healthy and happy lives,” said URA Chief Executive Officer Lim Eng Hwee. 

Ms Charlene Chang, Group Director, Ageing Planning Office, Ministry of Health (MOH) said, “Ageing should be a positive force and we have taken steps to tap on the strengths of our seniors by enabling them to age well. MOH will continue to work with our stakeholders and the community, to provide a holistic range of programmes to help our seniors stay active and socially engaged, even as we enhance accessibility and quality of aged care services.”

‘Designing Our Age-Friendly City’ will be exhibited at The URA Centre atrium from 17 October 2019 to 31 December 2019. The public can explore key highlights of the exhibition by joining one of the guided tours led by URA volunteers. For more details, please visit www.ura.gov.sg/agefriendlycity.

1 Both research collaborations are supported by the Singapore Ministry of National Development and the National Research Foundation, Prime Minister’s Office under the Land and Liveability National Innovation Challenge (L2NIC) Research Programme. Any opinions, findings and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not reflect the views of the Singapore Ministry of National Development and National Research Foundation, Prime Minister’s Office, Singapore.

Speech by Mr Zaqy Mohamad, Minister of State for Manpower and National Development, at the Launch of the “Designing Our Age-Friendly City” Urban Lab Exhibition