Cities across Canada are facing an unprecedented demographic shift as Canadians are living longer and in increasing numbers with the aging of the Baby Boomer generation. This panel examines the roles of urban and architectural design, public policy, research, community engagement, and development in the understanding and creating of cities that are responsive to the needs of older adults in staying independent and engaged in their communities for as long as possible. It will look at some of the major past, present, and future issues of aging in a city with a survey of local, national, and international approaches and solutions. What are some of the design, research, and policy responses to making cities supportive of the needs of our elders?
Cathy Makihara, (Nikkei Place), is the Executive Director of Nikkei Seniors Health Care and Housing Society and one of the creators of Nikkei Place, which is a museum and cultural centre, assisted living and seniors independent housing with a focus on Japanese culture in Burnaby, BC. Nikkei Place is a place of community, and the seniors residences are a part of the community. There are social dementia-friendly, preventative health programs held at the cultural centre, and museum programs at the housing. Upcoming work includes creating a holistic activity program offering physical exercise, education for family and seniors, a social worker, a healthy clinic with care guides and physician-led health programs to address the service gaps for seniors.
Beverley Pitman, (United Way), has a PhD in Urban and Regional Planning and Development from UCLA. She currently holds the Seniors Portfolio at United Way of the Lower Mainland where she works with seniors, the community sector, government and others to improve seniors' quality of life.
Elizabeth Tang, (Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation), is CMHC's Knowledge Transfer Consultant in BC. She is focused on engaging with professionals in the housing industry, academics, and provincial and municipal governments to improve awareness and implementation of accessible and adaptable design and solutions for aging in place and sustainable housing.
Michael Geller, (Geller Group), is an architect, planner, real estate consultant and property developer with four decades' experience in the public, private and institutional sectors. Some of his notable projects include overseeing the first phase of South Shore False Creek while working for CMHC; rezoning of the Steveston Waterfront on behalf of BC Packers; planning and development of Deering Island in Southlands; redevelopment of the Westin Bayshore Property in Coal Harbour; and UniverCity at SFU.
Eitaro Hirota, (NSDA Research), is an architect and researcher at NSDA Architects, who specializes in the design and construction of seniors housing and the development of age-friendly communities. He serves as a mentor at the UBC School of Architecture, and panel member at the Pitt Meadows Advisory Design Panel. He is also an expert in prefabrication and CAD/CAM building processes, which he has incorporated into several projects built in the Lower Mainland. His current work includes the design and development of a village-type community for persons with dementia and a collaboration with a local manufacturer to develop age-friendly housing prototypes for the Asian market.
Habib Chaudhury and Atiya Mahmood, Simon Fraser University (Research)
Dr. Chaudhury, Chair and Professor in the Department of Gerontology, has extensive research experience in the field of Environmental Gerontology. He conducts research and consulting in the following areas: planning and urban design for active aging, physical environments for people with dementia, and meaning of home and personhood.
Atiya Mahmood, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor in the Department of Gerontology at Simon Fraser University. Her post-secondary education has been in Environmental Design/Architecture with a focus on environment-behavior relationships. Her Post-doctoral training has been in Environmental Gerontology.