A 102 per cent proportional increase in people aged 85 and over and a 64 per cent increase in the 65-84 age group, is expected by 2036. This means 16 per cent of the District’s population will be aged 65 or over in 2036, up from 12 per cent in 2016. The local government areas of Sydney, Bayside and the Inner West will have the largest projected growth in both age groups. In the Bayside, Burwood, Strathfield and Sydney local government areas there will be a significant proportional increase in people over 65.
More diverse housing types and medium density housing, as well as the design of walkable neighbourhoods, will create opportunities for older people to continue living in their communities, where being close to family, friends and established health and support networks improves people’s wellbeing.
Coordinated and additional health, social and aged care services and collaborative responses across government and industry are needed to meet the expected increase in demand for local aged care facilities and respite services, including home care options (with associated visitor parking). This approach will also need to address care for people with specific needs such as those with dementia and the frail aged.
The NSW Ageing Strategy 2016–2020, prepared by the NSW Department of Family and Community Services, responds to the opportunities and challenges of the ageing population. It focuses on five priority areas: health and wellbeing, working and retiring, housing choices, getting around and inclusive communities
Public places including streets, parks, shopping precincts and community facilities must be safe, inclusive and of universal design so that all people can participate in community life. In addition to the rapidly ageing population, the District includes over 37,000 people with a disability2. Walkable places and homes of universal design are essential to provide opportunities for the participation of all people.
Universal design of places, homes and public transport is increasingly required as the population grows and demographics change. It is a key part of planning for 30-minute cities ensuring that children, young people, people with disability and older people can easily access services.
Neighbourhoods, streets, and transport also need to be safe and designed in accordance with the principles of Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design.
This focus on accessibility, inclusion and safety when designing and building neighbourhoods, public transport and transport interchanges, places and homes will encourage a greater cross-section of people to lead physically active and socially connected lives. This is especially important to the health outcomes of older people ageing in community and also benefits people with a disability and families.
Joint and shared use
Infrastructure can be adapted and shared for different uses – school and open space facilities can be used for community, sports, arts, screen, cultural and recreational use when they are not otherwise required. Creating opportunities for increased shared use, and more flexible use, of under-utilised facilities can support growth and respond to the different needs of local demographic groups. In new developments, providing multipurpose and intergenerational facilities can support better access to and use of infrastructure.
There are a number of opportunities for developing a more collaborative city by enhancing shared use of spaces and greater connectivity between residents. These include the occasional use of streets for community events such as temporary markets, basketball and other sports or school fetes.
Joint and shared use of facilities is encouraged to make school assets available to the community outside school hours and to give schools access to community facilities.
Joint use involves a school and a community partner, funding the building and operations of a shared facility, such as a sportsground, with a local council.
Shared use is where a school allows community use of school facilities during out-of-school hours.
Each neighbourhood has schools, libraries, community centres, adult education, sport and recreation facilities that enhance and promote social connections and networks within the community.
Schools are an important example of these social connectors. Where shared use of these facilities is achieved its future as a community hub is enhanced (refer to Planning Priority E4).
Joint and shared-use agreements increase opportunities for the community to access facilities and resources and facilitate programs and activities where resources and funding are limited. This is particularly important in urban environments with high land values and growing demand for access to open space and community facilities.
Established partnerships between local councils and the NSW Government for shared use of school facilities in the Eastern City District include a jointuse agreement between the Council of the City of Sydney and the NSW Department of Education, enabling co-use of a movement complex, fitness lab and performing and visual arts areas.