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Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

Public space for the needs of the elderly in large housing estates in Slovenia

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
5.08.00  Social sciences  Urbanism   

Code Science Field
5.07  Social Sciences  Social and economic geography 
Keywords
elderly people, large housing estates, urban neighborhoods, public space, local community, social networks, social support, living environment, quality aging
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (11)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  23425  PhD Maša Filipovič Hrast  Sociology  Researcher  2020 - 2023  379 
2.  20692  PhD Barbara Goličnik Marušić  Urbanism  Researcher  2020 - 2023  240 
3.  15257  PhD Valentina Hlebec  Sociology  Researcher  2020 - 2023  625 
4.  54217  Miriam Hurtado Monarres  Urbanism  Researcher  2021 - 2023  36 
5.  37694  MSc Maja Jančič  Economics  Researcher  2021  91 
6.  32353  Jasna Jugovič    Technical associate  2022 - 2023 
7.  23488  PhD Boštjan Kerbler  Urbanism  Head  2020 - 2023  381 
8.  09975  PhD Srna Mandič  Sociology  Retired researcher  2020 - 2023  439 
9.  32324  Maja Mrzel  Sociology  Researcher  2020  58 
10.  10488  PhD Richard Sendi  Urbanism  Researcher  2020 - 2023  350 
11.  57635  Ajda Šeme  Urbanism  Researcher  2023  30 
Organisations (2)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  0505  Urban planning Institute of the Republic of Slovenia  Ljubljana  5051703000  2,774 
2.  0582  University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Social Sciences  Ljubljana  1626957  40,379 
Abstract
Western society is characterized by increasing aging. Compared to other regions, the problem of aging is especially acute in Europe. Slovenia is no exception. Moreover, Slovenian society is aging even faster than the European average. The problem of population aging is so severe that it has become an important topic in many areas, including living and spatial planning. In the case of Slovenia, this is particularly highlighted by two characteristics. First, Slovenia is characterized by high ownership occupancy of dwellings; on the other hand, during socialism, housing construction focused on building large, concentrated housing estates. Due to rapid industrialization and urbanization, however, cities faced a chronic lack of housing after the Second World War. The countries of central and eastern Europe rapidly built up working-class neighborhoods to address the scarcity of housing due to large migration of the rural population to cities, where it was easier to find jobs. The urban plans envisaged that young and healthy people would live in these large housing estates, and therefore public space in these neighborhoods was adapted to their needs. Because Slovenia is characterized by low housing mobility, and because residents had the option to buy their rental apartments after independence, most of the first residents still live in large housing estates. As a result, the age structure of these large housing estates has changed considerably; their residents have grown old, but the public space in them is still adapted for younger and healthy people, as planned, rather than for the elderly. This reduces the quality of life of the elderly, increases the risk of their social exclusion, and reduces the possibility of their active involvement in the community and the local environment. This is particularly worrying because the elderly would like to remain in their home environment as long as possible, where they can lead their lives as independently as possible with the best possible quality of life. However, it is important that the public space in large housing estates be adapted to the needs of the elderly to ensure everyone a dignified—and, first and foremost, high-quality—life in old age, and active integration into the local community, which is also an important source of social support for the elderly. For these reasons, it is important to explore public space in large housing estates and the needs, habits, and expectations of their elderly residents regarding this space. The main objective of this project is to define the key elements of public space in large housing estates regarding the needs of the elderly to remain full members of the community for as long as possible and thus be actively involved in social life in their neighborhoods. This objective will be realized using various methods and systematically structured work. With this kind of organization and a top-notch project team it will be possible to complete the project in three years. The results of the project will comply with the goals of EU and Slovenian strategic and other documents (e.g., the Leipzig Charter on Sustainable European Cities, and so on). They will also be highly relevant for the discipline and professional community. The well-thought-out theoretical and methodological design of the study will open a new important research field for all further and even more specific studies and specialist discussions connected with the increasing issue of population aging and public space adaptation. The guidelines and recommendations developed can be used by policymakers and professionals in establishing new and more successful practices related to the design of public space. The research findings (as well as the research concept and methodology) will also be relevant for countries that, like Slovenia, have large housing estates and a high percentage of homeownership (e.g., post-socialist countries of central and eastern Europe).
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