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Is Chennai Planning for its Old Aged Citizens – The people who built it!

Introduction & Need for Old Age Homes

Like all developing countries with a rapidly growing population and an increasingly improving healthcare, the proportion of population above the age of 60 is also increasing. According to the census data and the information from Chennai collectorate the percentage of population above sixty(60) as percentage of the full population has increased from 1.9% in 1972 to 4.1% in 2011.

The necessary urban infrastruture which is required to accomodate this changing requirement needs deep understanding of the needs and an understanding of our instituitional setup. Some of the primary areas that need significant overhaul is the Urban Design framework in Chennai.

Urban Design Framework for Senior Citizens

Chennai’s street are currently not the best in the world to say the least. Though initiatives of Chennai Smart City Limited and Greater Chennai Corporation like the pedestrian plaza and street improvement projects are bold attempts to design good streets, the scale and the size of these projects need rapid improvement. The budgetary spend of various government organizations on street projects is only a meager 14% compared to 44% in Paris, France.

The street design has to be designed to accomodate requirements of senior citizens, like frequent street furniture, more shaded urban spaces, ramp on longer walk areas etc…

Currently the most landmark project is the Marina beach walkway. This includes many of the features necessary for senior citizens. However, we need more such walkways along the city and considering the climatic conditions of Chennai we must have more shaded areas.

Old Age Housing Needs

Old age housing requirements are very challenging in the sense that with children not being around etc… makes them more vulnerable. With average number of children in Indian families coming down, this has only added to the challenge. Old age housing requirements start from rough anti-slip flooring to easily accessible city center properties and proximity to quality healthcare.

Another fast requiring and deficient area is the need for old age homes. The need for old age homes is increasing in numbers.

Old Age Transportation

Old age needs aged transportation infrastructure that is designed for old age. This includes accessible bus stops and terminals. The buses must be low floor entry buses.