Engagement Towards Creating New Models for Later Life Living

C. Zecca*, C. Mcginley, R. Griffiths

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This paper presents initial findings and principles attained from an ongoing knowledge transfer project between academia and industry partners aiming to develop more inclusive later-living housing models against the background of current UK market stagnation and lack of suitability of existing stock.

Housing for later-living in the UK lacks meaningful community engagement and hence frequently fails to embody genuine needs beyond basic accessibility principles. Potential residents are frequently reduced to simplified statistics or uncomplicated representations of ‘third age’. The lack of engagement has contributed to unsuitable UK housing stock, inconsistent language use, and limited understanding of older people’s actual experiences and desires for their homes and communities. The UK faces the challenge of creating more human-centric, socially and economically sustainable spaces within homes and in the urban environment, whilst avoiding age segregation. In recent years this has been acknowledged, yet developments proclaiming to be designed for older cohorts continue to be poorly executed, through fragmented planning policies failed designs; persistently institutionalised features; and lack of inclusive understanding.

This paper will discuss the prevalence of limited inclusive intentions and outcomes particularly in terms of older populations in architecture, and the consequences of neglected community engagement within the architecture design process, pointing out uncodified methodologies and fragmented literature. The paper will present a successful example of a housing project for later living in Europe, and conclude by proposing a more human-centric approach and a set of initial inclusive design approaches and principles for housing.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDesign for Sustainable Inclusion
Subtitle of host publicationCWUAAT 2023
EditorsJoy Goodman-Deane, Hua Dong, Ann Heylighen, Jonathan Lazar, John Clarkson
Place of PublicationCham, Switzerland
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)9783031285288
ISBN (Print)9783031285271, 9783031285301
Publication statusPublished - 24 Mar 2023
Externally publishedYes
EventCambridge Workshop on Universal Access and Assistive Technology (CWUAAT) 2023: Design for Sustainable Inclusion - St Catharine’s College, Cambridge, United Kingdom
Duration: 27 Mar 202329 Mar 2023

Publication series

NameCWUAAT: Cambridge Workshop on Universal Access and Assistive Technology


ConferenceCambridge Workshop on Universal Access and Assistive Technology (CWUAAT) 2023
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address

Cite this