Background: The design of a healthy community through the enhancement of built environment invitation quality impacts the physical and mental health of its residents. This quality is more critical for vulnerable groups of people, such as older adults residing in assisted living facilities (ALFs), improving their neighborhoods’ socio-spatial dialectic. If a neighborhood invites ALF residents to be outside and encourages them to use outdoor environment, it can be called a healthy community that enhances its residents’ social well-being and health status by its features and qualities.
Specific Aims: This study aims to provide spatial recommendations for increasing outdoor public activities of older adults residing in ALFs, by investigating different neighborhood characteristics in core urban and suburban areas to provide empirical findings.
Methods: This study employed the embedded case study design through multiple sources of data (using triangulation technique) to organize a database and to maintain a chain of evidence for data analyzing procedure. Two general sets of data were collected from each case and its context: 1) information about characteristics of facilities and residents for each case, collected by archival records and 2) data from neighborhood physical features and outdoor public activities of residents in each context, collected by direct observation.
Outcome: Overall, the findings revealed that residency in different urban forms, with various neighborhood invitation quality, does influence the outdoor public activities of older adults residing in ALFs. Data analysis showed that the higher neighborhood invitation quality in the core urban area had a positive impact on a higher number of ALF residents using the outdoors.
|Keywords:||Urban Form, Built Environment, Affordances, Socio-Behavioral Settings, Aging Population, Public Health, Healthy Community Design, Urban Design|
Research Assistant, Interdisciplinary Design Institute, Washington State University, Spokane, WA, USA