Active travel, such as walking and cycling, has direct physical health benefits for older people. However, there are many barriers to walking and cycling including issues with the maintenance of pavements, sharing the path with other users, lack of public seating and benches, proximity of speeding traffic and narrow pavements. To create better public spaces, it is important to consider safety and accessibility of the public realm but also elements such as character, legibility, adaptability and diversity. The aesthetics of space cannot be overlooked too, in order to attract older people to use the public realm. Issues such as shared space pose different challenges for older people, though research would suggest if traffic volumes are low then sharing space with other users improves for older people.
Musselwhite, C. (2017), "Creating a Convivial Public Realm for an Ageing Population. Being a Pedestrian and the Built Environment", Musselwhite, C. (Ed.) Transport, Travel and Later Life (Transport and Sustainability, Vol. 10), Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 129-137. https://doi.org/10.1108/S2044-994120170000010005
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