We’re getting older
According to the Government of Alberta’s Aging Population Policy Framework, the number of seniors living in our province will increase by more than 50 per cent (1 in 5) over the next ten years.
This incredible change in population age distribution requires us to adapt our cities to be inclusive of older adults. The global age-friendly community movement looks at the following when assessing a city’s structures, services, and opportunities for healthy participation:
- Outdoor spaces and buildings
- Community support and health services
Creating inclusive atmospheres
Our Certified Accessible platform is informed by Universal Design standards which promote design for all and addresses the unique relationship between spatial layout and social inclusion. At a bare minimum, we can start building age-friendly communities by assessing our spaces and places for accessibility which includes easy wayfinding, functional washrooms and the ability for someone to access, exit, and pass independently through a building.
Age-friendly communities create inclusive atmospheres where all people have the same experience regardless of ability. We aim to deliver equity of access to opportunity for all community members.
The business case for accessibility
A sense of community stems from our ability to share experiences. By looking at our cities through the lense of age-friendly, we’re starting to think inclusively of both our older adults and people with varying needs and capacities. While social inclusion and participation underpin the age-friendly movement, there is also an economic driver supporting accessibility improvements.
Barrier-free designs create the opportunity for more citizens to participate in the economy. According to the Conference Board of Canada’s Business Case to Build Accessible Environments, businesses
should take note: the results of its surveys indicate there is market demand currently going unmet because of accessibility barriers. By opening doors to a larger range of community members, we also invite more spending in our local economies.