Millennials are not the only ones attracted to the lights and action of the city; lots of baby boomers are moving back downtown too. The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has just released an interesting study that looks at what they call “the active third age”, people 60 to 74 years old, many of whom will be active and fit for a number of years yet. It is a fascinating vision for cities and towns of 2030; here are some ideas and excerpts from Silver Linings: The active third age and the city.
A more transient lifestyle?
A lot of the trends we talk about, from dematerialization to small space living, come into play here. A scenario for 2030, if you have a bit of money:
In 2030 Third-Agers are travelling more, and travelling light. Over the course of their lives their possessions have dematerialised, with music, movies, photographs, books, magazines and correspondence becoming digital rather than physical assets. Where previously such collections were the amassed clutter of an active social and cultured lifestyle, they can now be slipped into a pocket or simply projected as part of a digital persona. The life lived has come to be defined as a collection of experiences, not things. The active Third Age typify this experience-seeking, light-travelling group and roam the globe, prompting networks of members’ club mansion blocks to emerge that allow such itinerant, uncluttered and unencumbered lifestyles to flourish. Increasing numbers of Third-Agers no longer require,or desire a fixed residence, and new ways of encouraging and incentivising them to free up much needed housing for younger families has become a key priority area for Government and policy makers.
The propose a sort of 21st century version of the residential hotel. “While stylish, the apartments are economical in the amount of personal space they offer, with their design revolving around a greater focus on the shared and social spaces supporting the private dwellings; with dining, leisure and even learning used to build a very modern sense of transient community.”