An urban planner friend shared an article on Facebook about how the US transportation fails the elderly after they are unable to drive. It's a fascinating read touching on many of the topics I've written about (driverless cars, aging in place), but from an urban planning perspective.
My friend is a pedestrian advocate, a city dweller, a runner and a conscientious family member. Over the years, we've talked a lot about his profession, which I find fascinating, and he's shown interest in my work advocating for people to design for the fringe audience instead of the typical target audience. I believe many of the urban planners today are like my friend and they are taking into consideration the entire population, and not just the perfectly abled who have lots of money.
I encourage you all to read this article and remember that designing for the fringe is not about designing for others, it's about designing for another version of yourself.
With that thought in mind, I encourage you to read Once seniors are too old to drive, our transportation system totally fails them by Joseph Stromberg for Vox and to consider:
- Innovation happens when we forget the status quo and start considering people who have real problems that need to be solved. So that the driverless car doesn't go the way of Google Glass, let's encourage innovators to think more broadly about their target audience.
- The transportation system falls short for the elderly, but also for those who are in a wheelchair or impoverished (and many others). How can we make it better without breaking the bank?
- Design greats like Michael Graves began designing for people with disabilities once he became wheelchair-bound. How can we encourage people to see the other version of themselves sooner?
A tiny home could make it easier for my mom to age near us (or for us to live near her).
The US transportation system falls short for the elderly. Understanding why can make it better.
A video game, Forget-Me-Knot, helps people understand what it is like to have Alzheimer's.
BrainDance is a collaborative project bringing together dance choreographers, neuroscientists, physicians, philosophers and people with Parkinson's disease to explore movement.
As your parents and loved ones grow older you start to notice subtle differences in the way they live their lives. These modifications generally come after something has happened.
Through telepresence and a Segway-like robot, Beam helps those with disabilities see the world.
Personal experience helped a Boy Scout create a wearable to prevent Alzheimer's patients from wandering.
The perfect "driver" for a driverless car is someone who can't drive.
An online decision tool that helps family caregivers make health and care decisions.
College students co-habitating with the elderly + a dementia village.