A Sustainable Community for Older People : Case Studies of Green Retirement Villages in Australia

Xia, Bo, Zuo, Jian, Skitmore, Martin, & Rarasati, Ayomi Dita (2013) A Sustainable Community for Older People : Case Studies of Green Retirement Villages in Australia. RICS Research, London, United Kingdom.

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In Australia, the proportion of the population aged 65 years and over reached 13.5% in 2010 and is expected to increase steadily to around 20% by the year 2056 [Australia Bureau of Statistics (ABS), 2010], creating what has been regarded as a looming crisis in how to house and care for older people. As a viable accommodation option, the retirement village is widely accepted as a means of promoting and enhancing independence, choice and quality of life for older people. Recent research by Barker (2010) indicates that the current and potential residents of retirement villages are generally very conscious of resource consumption and would like their residences and community to be more sustainable.

The aim of this study was to understand the perception of older people toward sustainability ideas and identify the sustainable practices involved in retirement villages to improve the wellbeing of residents. Multiple research methods, including content analysis, questionnaire survey, interviews and case studies were conducted for the research purpose. The results indicate that most retirement village residents understand and recognize the importance of sustainability in their lifestyle. However, their sustainability requirements need to be supported and enhanced by the provision of affordable sustainability features. Additionally, many retirement village developers and operators realize the importance of providing a sustainable retirement community for their residents, and that a sustainable retirement village (that is environmental-friendly, affordable, and improves social engagement) can be achieved through the consideration of project planning, design, construction, and operations throughout the project life cycle.

The clear shift from healthcare to lifestyle-focused services in the recent development of retirement villages together with the increasing number of aged people moving into retirement villages (Simpson and Cheney, 2007) has raised awareness of the need for the retirement village industry to provide a sustainable community for older people to improve their life quality after retirement. This is the first critical study of sustainable development in the retirement village industry and its potential in addressing the housing needs of older people, providing a contribution towards improving the life quality of older people and with direct and immediate significance to the community as a whole.

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ID Code: 64524
Item Type: Report
Refereed: No
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND DESIGN (120000)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Deposited On: 14 Nov 2013 22:31
Last Modified: 26 Jun 2017 11:17

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