• Ramune Maluke
4. term, Urban Design, Master (Master Programme)
By addressing demographic ageing World Health Organization (WHO) released a policy framework guiding governments from a political and policy perspective to foster “age-friendly” communities. The age-friendly city model is based on promoting inclusiveness, health, and security, acknowledging it as a human right for all seniors. Attempts to apply these guidelines resulted in various strategies, depending on the local context and senior needs.
The thesis takes on a rehabilitative approach of transforming post-Soviet mass housing districts into age-friendly communities. The increasing ageing population in Vilnius, with a tendency of older people three times as likely to live in mass housing district after age 65, dictates the need of reframing the role of public spaces for seniors in post-Soviet mass housing districts. Post-Soviet mass housing neighbourhoods are characterized by vast underused spaces, which are understood as residual spaces. As a response, this research focuses on activating residual spaces and adapting them to meet diverse senior requirements of every day.
The research uncovered the spatial and social needs of seniors living in mass housing districts, which led to identifying the challenges and potentials of the imposed spaces in which the elderly live. These findings showed the repetitive structure of mass apartment district’s fabric with distances to daily use functions and insufficient maintenance. The final design proposes an alternative distributed approach, rather than a central community point, that builds on the district’s communities, adapting to the individual needs of the seniors locally. This research proposes equal importance for public spaces to senior’s homes, as it sets the base for social life, establishing an age-friendly city. Through a case study of Lazdynai mass housing district, the thesis investigates and identifies specific patterns and needs of seniors to encourage public spaces that respond to age-friendly principles.
Accordingly, the thesis develops transferrable principles on how similar cases might be reframed to accommodate the needs of seniors. These principles are used as a method to redesign and adapt Lazdynai. The outcome of the research suggests that small purposeful interventions can rehabilitate the district and the communities within. Focusing on the needs of people living in mass housing would help reframe public spaces with a democratic perspective in mind, showing potential to start the chain reaction, which would be beneficial not only for the seniors.
Publication date2021
Number of pages127
ID: 412604961