Research about seniors wins planning award

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Research about seniors wins planning award


7 December 2012

A publication by two University of the Sunshine Coast researchers and a local urban design professional examining the needs and wants of seniors in infill developments has won a prestigious statewide Planning Excellence Award.

The Planning Institute of Australia (Qld Division) award, in the category of Cutting Edge Research and Teaching, was presented to the team led by USC Senior Lecturer in Urban and Regional Planning Dr Claudia Baldwin.

Dr Baldwin, USC PhD candidate Caroline Osborne and Phil Smith, Sunshine Coast–based Associate Director (Urban Design) of architectural and design firm Deicke Richards, researched the neighbourhood and accommodation preferences of senior South East Queenslanders.

Ms Osborne said the team was delighted with the award because it recognised the significance of the perspectives of seniors.

“We hope that the findings can provide insights into the kind of homes and neighbourhoods that increase choice, independence and dignity as needs change,” she said.

The judging panel was impressed that the needs of an ageing population were “positively addressed and that through a unique and inclusive engagement process, the key stakeholders, older Australians, were able to provide their views.”

The judges said the research delivered “outcome focused principles providing policy makers and designers with clear direction on considerations that need to be made to support this vital part of our community.”

The publication, Infill Development for Older Australians in South East Queensland, beat a field of high quality research from larger universities and institutions across the state and will now be considered for a national award to be decided in Canberra in March, 2013.

The project was funded by Sunshine Coast Council, the State Government Urban Land Development Authority, Churches of Christ Queensland and Deicke Richards.

The report is available for free download.

Julie Schomberg

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