A joint presentation between PerthALIVE and FuturePerth to the International Cities Town Centres & Communities Society Conference in October, 2013 challenged traditional assumptions about what different age groups want from their cities and housing.

FuturePerth is a group of young planners and urban enthusiasts who are passionate about Perth and committed to ensuring its development is vibrant, integrated, sustainable and reflects the aspirations of its creative, active citizens. PerthALIVE is a not-for-profit organisation of West Australian community members established to encourage alternative, concentrated urban design that accommodates people of all ages and allows for aging in place.

Traditional wisdom suggests that older people either want to remain in their own homes or move into quiet retirement lifestyle villages with other older people. That same traditional wisdom suggests that younger people want to live in buzzy inner-city apartments surrounded by other younger people. These two stereotypes drive many of our planning, design and marketing decisions.

Our presentation asked if there is room for a different type of development that suits people of all ages and which is vibrant, concentrated and mixed-use? Our collaboration reflects that there is a need for an intergenerational approach to housing supply – an opportunity and a challenge for planners, designers and future developers.

The following table prepared by PerthALIVE and FuturePerth highlights the similarities across different age groups in the desirable qualities of mixed-density, mixed-use developments.

PerthALIVE and FuturePerth Table