Increasing independence for older people through good street design

Rita Newton, Ormerod Marcus, Elizabeth Burton, Lynne Mitchell, Catharine Ward Thompson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The design and maintenance of the physical external environment facilitate people’s ability to get out and about. In particular, effective design of the neighbourhood street can support older people’s independence (such as being able to go shopping) and increase social interaction and community engagement, reducing reliance on care in the home. Interviews were conducted with 200 people aged 65+ to assess their preferences for a range of street attributes. A structured questionnaire was used, in conjunction with photo elicitation. The analysis identified the components of a street that make a person feel safe and influence their decision to go out, such as adequate seating and smooth pavements. The results found that if these components are absent, some older people limit outdoor activity for a range of reasons. The implications are that older people’s quality of life can be significantly improved by good street design.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)24-29
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Integrated Care
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • independence
  • neighbourhood environments
  • outdoor activity
  • street design


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