Kick Starting a Market for More Inventive and Inclusive Housing Schemes

Long before COVID 19 reared its ugly head, social networks had created a pandemic of loneliness. When life eventually returns to some semblance of normality it is likely we will want our loved ones closer to us under our own care and protection.

Will this stimulate demand for more inventive and inclusive housing schemes? Realistically this is not going to happen at any scale until we can agree on what best practice looks like. And to do this we need quantifiable evidence to validate the health/care benefits and socioeconomic impact of smart multi-generational environments.

Ultimately our neighbourhoods of the future could deliver trillions of £’s in value. What’s missing is a commonly agreed view of “what good looks like”, making it hard for regional and local government, developers, and procurers of related products and services, to plan with any degree of confidence. The quicker we can establish widely accepted best practice, the more confidence will increase and the faster the market will grow.

To this end, AAA has joined forces with ISO in a united effort to flesh out a new ISO Ageing Societies standard, which aims to: 

Accelerate construction of a new breed of age-friendly housing in ‘smart’ socially supportive multigenerational neighbourhoods, employing innovative technologies, business and service models, together with an enabling ecosystem, to improve health and wellbeing and reduce the financial burden on citizens and State.

Work began in May with the AAA ISO Leaders Forum, involving over 600 experts, thought leaders and cross-sector stakeholders. Follow the links below to read summaries of individual presentations, watch video and see presentations.

Around the World in 40 Minutes. Nathan Taylor, ISO Technical programme manager and Nele Zgavc, International secretary for ISO Ageing Societies set the scene. With contributions from: Nick Howe, Enterprise Manager at NatWest, Tore Borthen, CEO/Founder, CondoVita, David Stevens, Managing Director, Standards Wise International, Professor Liu, Director, Service Engineering and Smart Health for Seniors Lab Beijing Academy for Science and Technology, Alexander Grutman, Co-Founder & CEO of Inno-Fuel, Alberto Sanna, Director, Life & Health Scientific Institute San Raffaele, Andrew Larpent, Chairman, CommonAge, The Commonwealth Association for the Ageing, Jeremy Porteus, Founder and Managing Director of Housing LIN UK.

We’ve built the wrong type of real estate, for the wrong type of reasons, with the wrong type of consequences: Andrew Edkins, Director, Bartlett Real Estate Institute at UCL, Sarah Haywood, Managing Director Advanced Oxford and Executive Director, MedCity, Martin Hyde, Associate Professor in Gerontology, Centre for Innovative Ageing, Swansea University.

University Challenge: Translating research into real world impact: “As researchers we need to understand the life world of older people to ensure our smart neighbourhoods are truly responsive and supportive during the known trials and unexpected tribulations of later life” David Prendergast, Professor of Science, Technology & Society, at Maynooth University, Judith Phillips, Deputy Principal (Research) and Research Director UKRI Healthy Ageing Challenge, University of Stirling.

Is it Really Possible to Design for Everyone? Paul McGarry, Assistant Director, Greater Manchester Ageing Hub, Tama Duffy Day, Principal at Gensler, Paul Smith, Director, Foundations.

Design for Life - Design-led innovation can lighten the load of ageing: Design and mobility are integral to our everyday experiences. Jeremy Myerson, Helen Hamlyn Professor of Design Royal College of Art, Esther Greenhouse, Strategic Director, Cornell Institute for Healthy Futures, Paul Priestman, Chairman, of PriestmanGoode.

One Size Does Not Fit All: “This project constitutes an opportunity for stakeholders to break the tyranny of uniformity to design and build homes and multigenerational neighbourhoods where adaptation and addressing changing needs are core principles.” Paul Quinn, Director of Regeneration for Clarion Housing Group.

Why Are We Systemically Supporting The Creation Of Class B Citizens? "Countries like the United States and the UK have systemically supported the creation of Class B citizens: people of colour, immigrants and older adults, and we've done this in part by physically segregating people of different ages and backgrounds and then essentially disinvesting in the places where they live." Stephanie K. Firestone, Senior Strategic Policy Advisor, Health & Age-friendly Communities at AARP International, Richard Blyth, Head of Policy, Royal Town Planning Institute, Nic Palmarini, Director, at the UK’s National Innovation Centre for Ageing.

Assistive Technology Think Tank: Here, we review what was said when AAA and PC joined forces to ask insightful experts to consider how the new ISO standard could impact assistive technologies. Clive Gilbert, Policy Manager for Assistive Technology, Policy Connect, Victoria Leesam, Senior Investment Specialist at Homes England,  Cynthia Bullock, Deputy Director, ISCF Ageing Society Challenge, Simon Bayliss, Managing Partner, HTA Design LLP, Meryl Davies, CEO, Reengage, Karen Holden, Founding Partner, Director, A City Law Firm, Matt McCann, CEO and Founder, Access Earth, Sam Mauger, Chief Executive, University of the Third Age U3A.

A Genuine Game Changer for a Healthier and Happier Society. “Technology has a crucial role to play in enabling us to manage our own health for as long as possible.” Faith la Grange, Director for regional and local government business at Microsoft UK.

Builders are Fixated on the Past. A Shortage of Choice and Trust: Lord Best, Chair, Affordable Housing Commission, John Godfrey, Director, Public Affairs Legal & General, Filippo Addarii, Founding Partner and CEO, PlusValue, Xaviere Roudeix-Crouan, Senior Research Analyst, Grosvenor Group.

More than Half of England’s Coronavirus-Related Deaths will be People from Care Homes: “Large, Very Expensive, Disease Palaces”. George Crooks OBE, Chief Executive, Digital Health and Care Institute Scotland, Martin Green, Chief Executive Care England.

Designing Age-friendly Homes for Multigenerational Neighbourhoods: “Well-designed good quality housing and neighbourhoods helps people to stay warm, safe, socially connected and healthy.” Dr Cynthia Bullock is Deputy Director of the ISCF Ageing Society Challenge at Innovate UK

Ingredients for a Well-Aged Society. “What elements do we need to make our neighbourhoods liveable for all ages?” Tama Duffy Day, Principal at Gensler.

Let’s Build a Coalition of Multigenerational Stakeholders to Challenge Assumptions about Ageing: “Well-designed homes and neighbourhoods, combined with enabling technologies, will empower older adults and promote mobility. This will lead to a better quality of life, health and wellbeing, together with cost savings to individuals and State alike.” Sam Mauger, Chief Executive U3A University of the Third Age:

Retrofit Home Adaptations: a Third Way: With 80% of the homes that we will be living in by 2050 already built, retrofit for ageing is the big housing story. Paul Smith, Director of Foundations.