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Title: Exploring active ageing outdoors : a case study of Anqing, China
Authors: Yang, Qiaowei
Issue Date: 2019
Publisher: Newcastle University
Abstract: The combination of rapid population ageing and accelerating urbanisation in China is shaping the country’s landscape significantly. By 2050, nearly 30% of the country’s population will be older urban citizens. Older people are facing a variety of challenges to their well-being. For instance, the rise of “empty nests”, which is caused by various factors such as the One Child Policy and young people leaving homes to seek better job opportunities in other cities, is challenging traditional filial piety as well as the lifestyle of older people’s later lives. Therefore, drawing upon the reflection on the relationship between place and active ageing, as well as referencing the concept and framework of age-friendly cities and communities, this research aims to explore how urban outdoor spaces influence active ageing and how to support older urban Chinese to age well in urban setting from the perspective of urban planning. The investigation focuses on a typical third-tier city: Anqing, in south-east China. Data is collected by using qualitative methods, including interviews, focus groups, observations, participations, and document analysis. The findings of the fieldwork indicate that older Chinese are very fond of outdoor activities, and places could support older people to participate in activities of different kinds to meet needs at various levels. However, limited quantity and quality of space limited engagement and the lack of an effective parking policy resulted in older people losing the small spaces they could lay claim to. In some neighbourhoods older people were almost losing their right to the city. Community spaces and city centre are significant in supporting older people’s local community networks, and societal engagement beyond communities; and the University for the Third Age is also important in drawing people from across several communities together. Much of this developing city’s urban environment and outdoor space has been improved in the realm of age-friendliness, though there was still scope for further improvement if an overt age-friendly approach were taken. Some aspects did not improve a lot and even became worse due to rapid growth of the city. Planning professionals have paid increasing attention to the issue of ageing in their practice, but their performance is limited due to weakness of related planning policies as well as lack of integration of ageing reflections in planning education.
Description: PhD Thesis
Appears in Collections:School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape

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