How do we build a community for all ages?

Intergenerational ideas wanted: the organisers of two forums on designing spaces and services for people of all ages are conducting a survey, to decide what will be discussed at the twin events in Sydney and Melbourne.

By Stephen Easton

Two forums in September aim to foster discussion of the latest ideas about bringing people of all ages together in society, and the organisers want your input.

The two all-day forums on intergenerational spaces and programs, in Sydney on 24 September and Melbourne on 28 September, are being arranged for a diverse range of service providers, professionals and community leaders to discuss designing intergenerational programs and spaces, with a view to building a ‘community for all ages’.

This week the organisers, a consortium made of up 4C Consulting, Premier Consulting, Uniting Care Community Options and Presbytarian Aged Care NSW & ACT, invited those interested in attending to complete a quick four-question online survey, from which the agenda for discussion will be developed.

Roland Naufal, CEO of 4C Consulting, said the forums were aimed at people representing aged care services, youth and community services, retirement communities, local government, property developers and architects as well as social and town planners.

“The purpose of the survey is to help shape the forums, to gather people’s ideas about what they most want to hear about, learn and discuss, so they get the best possible benefit,” Mr Naufal said.

“We hope to promote the development of more intergenerational opportunities across the board.”

Follow this link to complete the survey and have input into the agenda for ‘A Community for all Ages: A One Day Forum on Intergenerational Programs and Spaces

The organising group wants to explore the opportunities and challenges presented by intergenerational projects, which “actively seek to create programs and spaces, for people of all ages and abilities, to learn, collaborate or just be together”.

“In a Community for All Ages, everyone belongs, everyone benefits,” a statement from the organisers said. 

“In difficult economic times, intergenerational projects offer an increased consumer base, diversified funding streams and sharing of risks. Intergenerational projects actively seek to create programs and spaces for people of all ages and abilities to learn, collaborate or just be together.”

The “highly interactive” intergenerational forums aim to showcase leading intergenerational projects from around the world, highlighting models that tap into diverse target groups and funding sources.

“The theme is ‘spaces and environments’,” Mr Naufal explained. 

“We’ve seen some examples overseas, such as in Vancouver where a seniors centre is built next to a primary school with a connected space they share.

“The seniors are making jewellery to sell at markets, to raise money for [developing] countries, and the school kids help them; it’s so popular with the primary school kids, they’re on a waiting list to get into it.”

“Sporting clubs are also a really good example of intergenerational programs,” he added. “They tick a lot of the boxes; everyone is interested no matter what their ages, and as people get older they turn into coaches and mentors.  They’re just a fantastic example of where generations are coming together.”

Tags: age-friendly, age-friendly-city, built-environment,

3 thoughts on “How do we build a community for all ages?

  1. Hi,
    What a fantastic idea!! I will love to be involved in the forum at the time is schedule to be held in Sydney. I have answered the survey, should you need to contact me any further, please do not hesitate to do so.
    Kind regards,

    Jeannette Oujani

  2. This concept of ‘a community for all ages’ is something stronlgy advocated by Dr Alex Kalache who is the current Adelaide Thinker in Residence advising Premier Weatherill and members of the Cabinet on matters realted to ageing actively.

    Dr Kalache will be working in South Australia in his third and final visit, from 24 September 2012 until 12 October 2012. This will conclude his tenure as Thinker in Residence and his report will shortly afterwards be tabled in Cabinet.

    For more details please contact the Adelaide Thhinkers in Residnece office, 08 8226 2220.

  3. This is a good idea. Participants may want to locate the Australian Government report “A Community for All Ages: Building the Future”, June 2006 (I was the national facilitator)

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