Creating age friendly urban places

Ngā tū wāhi tāone pai mō te hunga kaumātua


This resource aims to improve urban outcomes for older people through the design of public places, land use, spatial planning and design guidance.

What this resource covers
Ngā kōrero o roto i tēnei rauemi

This is a technical resource targeted at local and central government urban planning practice to help improve outcomes for older people. We recognise that there are other influences that shape urban environments that are not addressed here.

Designing inclusive environments for people of all ages means: 

  • enabling multiple functional abilities
  • giving effect to the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi
  • being inclusive of our culturally diverse communities, and
  • encouraging early engagement with our communities of interest

Planning guidance in this resource is broken down into four sections:

Why design for older people
He aha whakahoahoa ai mō te hunga kaumātua?

Our population is ageing
E kaumātua haere ana tō tātau taupori

Between 2020 and 2048:

  • The number of people aged 65+ is expected to increase from 790,000 to 1.4 million in 2048 (around 24 percent of all New Zealanders).
  • The number of people aged 85+ is predicted to increase rapidly from 88,000 to over 300,000.

You can find these statistics at Stats NZ here. 

Our older population is becoming more diverse
E kanorau haere ana te hunga kaumātua

Older people do not represent one homogenous group within the population. New Zealand is home to people of many different cultures and ethnicities, who may have different needs as they age.

Our Treaty relationship with Māori informs our bicultural foundation.

The term older people is used in this resource to represent all people, including kaumātua, with varying needs and abilities that are progressing through the later stages of their lives.

It's good for everyone
E pai ana mō tātau katoa

Currently our urban places are generally not well designed to meet the needs of older people, and often do not enable older people to participate or be included in public life.

Environments that have been designed to include and be comfortable for older people are good for the whole community.

Next: Streets and spaces »