Baby boomers to redefine and redesign our cities
Launching Perth’s National Speakers Series today, the Minister for Ageing, Julie Bishop, said planners and builders of urban environments will have to take radical new approaches to meet the needs of the next generation of older Australians.
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27 October 2005
Planners and builders of urban environments will have to take radical new approaches to meet the needs of the next generation of older Australians – the baby boomers, Federal Minister for Ageing Julie Bishop said today while launching Perth’s National Speakers Series.
Titled A Community for All Ages - Building the Future, the National Speakers Series is a joint initiative of the Australian Government and partners, including the Royal Australian Institute of Architects and the Australian Local Government Association. The series is travelling to capital cities and major centres over the next 12 months.
Ms Bishop said that within 20 years most of Perth’s older people will be baby boomers, who will have different needs and higher lifestyle expectations than previous generations.
"The first of Perth’s baby boomers will turn 60 next year and by 2025 the proportion of Perth’s population aged over 60 will be around 25 per cent – up from 14.5 per cent today. This is a projected increase of more than 350,000 older people," Ms Bishop said.
"The baby boomer generation is already influencing the construction of different kinds of communities. We’re seeing the emergence of lifestyle villages rather than retirement villages and there is a clear opportunity for planners and builders to be more innovative and to design a ‘society for all ages’," she said.
"For example, new houses should be ‘universally designed’ so they are accessible for people of all ages and abilities. This will reduce costs as it is much more expensive to make later modifications to existing buildings."
Ms Bishop said planners should already be taking into consideration the fact that baby boomers (those people born between 1946 and 1964) will want ‘walkable’ suburbs that are safe for older people and children to live and play, as a minimum requirement for their communities. And they are likely to get what they want, because they will be one of the most vocal and politically active older generations Australia has ever seen.
"They will also take a more active approach to life in retirement and will embrace the government’s policy of ‘active ageing’ to enjoy longer healthier lives," she said.
Media contact: Murray Hansen 0417 886 155
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