Spring 2021 - GERO 401 D100

Environment and Aging (3)

Class Number: 6295

Delivery Method: Remote


  • Course Times + Location:

    Tu 2:30 PM – 5:20 PM

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Apr 25, 2021
    3:30 PM – 5:30 PM

  • Prerequisites:

    60 units. Recommended: GERO 300.



Impact of the macro- and microenvironment as it affects the aged. Discussion of planned housing and institutional living arrangements, territoriality and the need for privacy, home range and use of space, urban planning, responsive design of housing and care facilities, effects of relocation and institutionalization.


The built environment is an important factor in older adult’s physical, social and emotional well-being. Their interaction with the environment is affected by their physical capabilities, psychological needs and preferences, and socio-cultural rules. This is a multi-dimensional process that needs to be looked at from different perspectives. This course provides insight into innovative planning and design principles and solutions for older adults who may have physical and/or cognitive frailty. It offers: an overview of person-environment interaction; sensory changes with aging and their influence on
environmental experience; architectural design issues in community and supportive housing for older adults


Learning Objectives
1. You will understand the physical, cognitive, and psychological characteristics of the aging population as it relates to the built environment
2. You will learn about objective and subjective aspects of housing needs of the aging population.
3. You will learn about residential alternatives for the aging population.
4. You will assess the residential environments and propose solutions for inclusive/universal design.
5. You will evaluate the impact of site and community planning on living environments for older adults.


  • Team Project: 2-person group 45%
  • 3-4 short projects and participation 30%
  • Final Exam 25%



This class is part of the Leganto Course Reserve Program, so your course readings
will also be accessible via CANVAS through the LIBRARY RESERVES. Readings include research articles, book chapters, reports, etc. from various sources.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html


Teaching at SFU in spring 2021 will be conducted primarily through remote methods. There will be in-person course components in a few exceptional cases where this is fundamental to the educational goals of the course. Such course components will be clearly identified at registration, as will course components that will be “live” (synchronous) vs. at your own pace (asynchronous). Enrollment acknowledges that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes. To ensure you can access all course materials, we recommend you have access to a computer with a microphone and camera, and the internet. In some cases your instructor may use Zoom or other means requiring a camera and microphone to invigilate exams. If proctoring software will be used, this will be confirmed in the first week of class.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who believe they may need class or exam accommodations, including in the current context of remote learning, are encouraged to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112).