Houses For Aging Socially
Developing Third Place Ecologies
By 2030, 79 million baby boomers will have turned 65 at a rate of 10,000 per day. While more than 85 percent will age in place, a tsunami of challenges and opportunities will compel this cohort to embrace more cooperative structures of living, given their explosive increase in single-person households. The nation’s housing stock and neighborhoods are not equipped to serve the common mobility, access, and social needs of seniors. Many who now age in place often experience greater social isolation and loss of purpose than residents of nursing homes. What is the shape of housing that accommodates retirement lifestyles for the 85 percent who do not live in the nation’s top 50 urban cores yet desire greater cooperative structures of living in low-density housing?
The book reworks components of the familiar single-family home to promote new levels of connectivity in neighborhoods once resistant to sharing. The traditional individual porch is rescaled to serve multiple units as a hyper-porch; garage galleries hydridize car parking to become mixed-use neighborhood work and maker spaces; and patio mats offer live-work venues within a compact footprint. All three strategies revitalize neighborhoods through return of informal economies and social networks.