Creating age-friendly neighbourhoods is a major strategy for healthy ageing. In August 2019, we completed a 2-year study on Innovative Planning and Design of Age-friendly Neighbourhoods in Singapore under a national grant call jointly funded by the Singapore Ministry of National Development and National Research Foundation Land and Liveability National Innovation Challenge. The objective of the research is threefold – to assess the age-friendliness of neighbourhoods, understand the connections between the neighbourhood built environment and older adults’ health, and develop broad planning guidelines, context-specific design strategies, temporary prototypes and toolkits to increase the potential for age-friendly neighbourhoods in Singapore. The Environmental Audit Toolkit is one of ten deliverables from the project.
For ease of reference, the age-friendly neighbourhood toolkits and guidelines are published separately. They touch on 3 main stages of age-friendly neighbourhood project – planning (environmental audit), implementation (planning and design guidelines) and evaluation of progress made (post-implementation review). The purpose of the Environmental Audit Toolkit is to help users to systematically review the outdoor built environment and identify the extent to which environmental features, both facilitators and barriers, are visible in the neighbourhood and having areas for improvement. The development and testing of the Toolkit have benefited from the contributions of many individuals including older people themselves. It is designed to be administered by professionals as well as non-design professionals with easy-to-follow instructions and illustrations.
Under the Lee Li Ming Programme in Ageing Urbanism at the Lee Kuan Yew Centre for Innovative Cities, Singapore University of Technology and Design, we are especially interested in producing robust evidence-based research, methodologies and tools for healthy ageing and improved quality of life in older age. Aside from age-friendly neighbourhoods, we are conducting research on AI and urban health, dementia-friendly communities, walkability and active ageing, visual art participation and wellbeing.