MULTIGENERATIONAL COMMUNITY: A SUPPORTIVE ENVIRONMENT FOR YOUNG AND OLD

                                                              

MULTIGENERATIONAL COMMUNITY: A SUPPORTIVE ENVIRONMENT FOR YOUNG AND OLD

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Solution proposed by: 
Tatiana Epimakhova, MS in Architecture+Health, MArch
In a Nutshell: 
This design proposal is an attempt to build supportive milieu for all ages in urban settings. Based on the conducted research, this project encourages to look carefully at the issue of multigenerational living as a successful coexisting and collaboration between different generations in the urban environment.
Where and When: 
Current proposal is a thesis research investigation and a project designed for a city of Greenville South Carolina, U.S.A
Challenges: 
Housing for the “silver” clients is a popular topic for design and architectural planning today. The common approach today is focused on designing for the elderly people instead of designing for them as people. Everyday social media insistently introduces to us the image of “normal” person as young and healthy. However, the demographic aging of global society calls for a shift in existing approaches to the design of senior living as an exclusive case for planning to more a comprehensive, integrative approach for everyone.
Innovation: 
This proposal explores planning and design strategies that create an inclusive urban environment for the elderly, supporting “aging in place” whereas, mixed age (or age-integrated) strategies are targeted for the physical integration of various generations for mutual support and self-help in complicated environment of a modern city. The mixed-age approach is embodied in a model of a multigenerational community, a residential arrangement for young and old. The claim is that a multigenerational community could be a viable alternative solution to traditional age-specific care housing and care models in urban settings.
Concept: 
Seven imperative guidelines were developed based on a literature review and analysis of the best design practices of multigenerational communities in the U.S. and Europe. These design strategies were applied to a conceptual design of a multigenerational community in Greenville South Carolina. The project presents a unique symbiosis of healthcare, residential and mixed-use environment, suitable for every stage of life. It includes an ambulatory clinic that serves all ages, a community café, co-working space, a day-care and other communal facilities that form essential features of this community together with contiguous outside spaces that create beneficial and supportive milieu for everyone.
Description: 
The defined set of guidelines, working at different planning levels, together with formulated site selection criteria, served as recommendations to define a successful location of any multi-generational project, and will enable the creation of an environment beneficial for all ages. From conducted observation, there were found seven design guidelines, which significantly impact on multigenerational living: Density, Gradation of spaces with different territorial claims, Connection inside-outside, Incomplete space, Adaptable space, Externalization and Efficiency. The site selection criteria are link to existing infrastructure, connection to public transportation, mixed-use, walkability, connection to nature. These theoretical outcomes were applied to a project of a multigenerational community in Greenville, SC. The primary concept for this project was to create a vibrant socio-spatial scene where different ages coexist together, collaborate with each other and engage in a complicated network of social interaction and community activities. An inspiration for this image was a street in an old city where each member of this scene has his or her own special role.
Impacts: 
Based on a literature review, there were found six objectives or goals of the built environment, which essential for each age: Social responsible environment, Healthy environment, Accessible environment, Safe environment, Affordable environment, and Adaptable environment. These objectives serve as measurements for assessment of the design proposal.