Aging in [a] Place Symposium: Planning, Design & Spatial Justice in Aging Societies
Location: Harvard Graduate School of Design
The United States is an aging society with growing economic inequality and socio-cultural diversity. Age-associated disadvantages, such as declining health, overlap with unequal access to healthy places, suitable housing, and other social determinants of health. These have in many cases affected people throughout life. As a result, there are vast differences in people’s experiences of late life.
Today, public discussion and policy focuses on “aging in place” as a way to improve quality of life and reduce costs. However, in part because of socioeconomic differences and structural inequalities, not all older adults can live in or move to age-supportive communities, neighborhoods, or homes that match their values and needs. Differences in access to places to age well can take the form of spatial inequalities, such as inadequate market rate housing for older adults on fixed incomes.
Co-sponsored by The Hastings Center, the symposium will apply a spatial justice lens to this challenge, asking, who has access to age-friendly communities, accessible housing to prolong independence, and sufficient funds to cover housing and care? How can planners, policymakers, designers, and citizens make progress on social inequalities among older adults through planning and design? How can the fields of medicine, public health, and planning/design work together to effect change?
Agenda & Video
1:00 pm – Welcome + Aging in a Place: Thinking and Doing where Aging, Inequality, and Spatial Justice Meet
Chris Herbert, Managing Director, Joint Center for Housing Studies
Mildred Z. Solomon, President, The Hastings Center;
Professor of Global Health and Social Medicine, Harvard Medical School
Nancy Berlinger, Research Scholar, The Hastings Center
1:30 pm – The Just City in the Aging Society: Identifying Values to Support Better Design
Toni Griffin, Professor in Practice of Urban Planning and Director, The Just City Lab, Harvard Graduate School of Design
2:00 pm – Aging in Place: Ideal vs. Reality
Moderator: Lisa Marsh Ryerson, President, AARP Foundation
3:45 pm – Aging Well in a Place: Bringing a Spatial Justice Lens to the Age-Friendly Movement
Moderator: Reese Fayde, Principal, Reese Fayde & Associates
Robin Lipson, Deputy Secretary, MA Executive Office of Elder Affairs
Emily Greenfield, Associate Professor, Rutgers University School of Social Work
Emi Kiyota, Executive Director, Ibasho
Rodney Harrell, Director, Livability Thought Leadership, AARP Public Policy
5:00 pm – Aging Well in the Just City: Values Supporting Policy, Practice, and Public Life
This event was made possible by a generous grant to The Hastings Center from The Robert W. Wilson Charitable Trust as part of its visionary support for the Center’s research and public engagement on ethical challenges facing aging societies.
(Photo by Ann Forsyth)