Unley, Australia

2021-09-09 11:17:22

Cohousing for aging well Designing for aging in place

Basic City Data

Population size: 1320000

Population Growth Rate (%): 1.70

Surface Area (sq.km): 3258

Population Density (people/sq.km): 400

GDP Per Capita (U.S.$): 61000

GINI Index: 0.35

Main Source of Prosperity (e.g. industry, trade, tourism, creative industry, etc.): Tourism, agriculture and hospitality

Adelaide is one of the most populous metropolitan regions in Australia, with 1.3 million people. The City of Unley, a local government area in the Adelaide metropolitan region with a resident population of approximately 39,145 people, proposed novel and age-friendly community co-design principles with older residents to inform new cohousing options. In response to the challenges that older individuals wishing to age in place in their community often find limited options to downsize when their housing no longer suits their needs, the initiative aims to establish a new concept and principles of cohousing with shared amenities and a desirable environment to enhance social cohesion. It included a suite of innovative cohousing designs sympathetic to local housing styles. The initiative can benefit the elderly population (i.e., aged 60 and above) in the city of Unley, which constitutes 22.6% of the city’s population. It directly enhances the well-being of older community-dwelling adults in metropolitan South Australia who wish to stay in their communities yet need to downsize their property because their physical or financial needs have altered. The initiative is innovative by using the ‘Alternative Infill’ housing model and principles of cohousing in involving older residents in the co-design of cohousing that adapts to local culture and needs.

The TC recommends this initiative to the Guangzhou Award because it presents a good methodology that could be replicated for other types of housing development, innovative in terms of pushing boundaries of existing urban planning codes. It also tackles zoning and construction regulations that make the housing market more elastic and responsive to demographic and economic trends.

This initiative is highly relevant to Sustainable Development Goals 1 (End poverty in all its forms everywhere), 3 (Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages), 11 (Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable), and 13 (Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts).