Background and Aims: The development of contemporary urbanization and the consequent growing complexity of social life have to be related with the demographic ageing process, diffusely interesting more and more Wester as well non-Western societies (Phillipson, 2013). Understanding the lives of the increasing number of older residents within the rapid contextual changing of urban environments become a priority issue both for urban architects and social gerontologists, as well, especially for city decision makers (Scharf et al., 2002; Rodwin et al., 2006; Ogg and Bonvalet, 2007). This study assessed the association between the living conditions of older residents and the urban settings where they experience the ageing process. The main objective was to realize a secondary data analysis leading to an efficient decision support system, focused on a deeply detailed geo-mapping representation of the Genoa municipality (a metropolitan urban context of northern Italy describing an aging index equal to 235.9 in 2013, compared to the national mean value of 152.7 and the EU28 mean value of 117.7), in order to support local policy makers in evaluating the vulnerability risk for older residents and planning adequate urban interventions. Methods: This was a secondary data analysis combined with a geo-referencing model. The study was realized on big datasets provided by the official statistical registry of the Municipality of Genoa, deepening the analysis to the tiniest possible level of territorial observation. In order to perform a very detailed examination of the contextual living conditions of older residents, we assessed at smallest city block level the association of standard mortality rates of over65s with several factors of social and structural exclusion, like the levels of isolation of older residents, the average income and education levels of the neighborhood, the degree of deterioration of the building environment. Data where analyzed through SPSS statistical software and geospatially represented by QGIS mapping system, providing a detailed map of the whole town describing though adequate alert indicators the different territorial risk for older residents of exposure to vulnerability. Results: Standard mortality rates of over 65s resulted significantly higher within those city blocks evidencing highest levels of social exclusion, economic deprivation and environmental decay, with a major gender disadvantaged for female older people and for older residents living in suburban contexts. The geo-referenced representation of results provided a mapping alert system helpful for decision makers to plan adequate interventions of social and urban requalification. Conclusions: Our study, beyond implicit ecological limitations, demonstrates, on the one hand, the importance of focusing a specific attention to inclusion and exclusion processes interesting older people in town environment, and, on the other hand, the opportunity of converting the already available and continuously updated datasets of city registry offices in useful planning tools, helping older residents to better experience later stages of life within the increasing complexity of the contemporary urban setting.

Aging in the Contemporary Urban Context: The Mortality Rates of Older Residents in Genoa, Italy

Poli, Stefano;Palumbo, Mauro
2017

Abstract

Background and Aims: The development of contemporary urbanization and the consequent growing complexity of social life have to be related with the demographic ageing process, diffusely interesting more and more Wester as well non-Western societies (Phillipson, 2013). Understanding the lives of the increasing number of older residents within the rapid contextual changing of urban environments become a priority issue both for urban architects and social gerontologists, as well, especially for city decision makers (Scharf et al., 2002; Rodwin et al., 2006; Ogg and Bonvalet, 2007). This study assessed the association between the living conditions of older residents and the urban settings where they experience the ageing process. The main objective was to realize a secondary data analysis leading to an efficient decision support system, focused on a deeply detailed geo-mapping representation of the Genoa municipality (a metropolitan urban context of northern Italy describing an aging index equal to 235.9 in 2013, compared to the national mean value of 152.7 and the EU28 mean value of 117.7), in order to support local policy makers in evaluating the vulnerability risk for older residents and planning adequate urban interventions. Methods: This was a secondary data analysis combined with a geo-referencing model. The study was realized on big datasets provided by the official statistical registry of the Municipality of Genoa, deepening the analysis to the tiniest possible level of territorial observation. In order to perform a very detailed examination of the contextual living conditions of older residents, we assessed at smallest city block level the association of standard mortality rates of over65s with several factors of social and structural exclusion, like the levels of isolation of older residents, the average income and education levels of the neighborhood, the degree of deterioration of the building environment. Data where analyzed through SPSS statistical software and geospatially represented by QGIS mapping system, providing a detailed map of the whole town describing though adequate alert indicators the different territorial risk for older residents of exposure to vulnerability. Results: Standard mortality rates of over 65s resulted significantly higher within those city blocks evidencing highest levels of social exclusion, economic deprivation and environmental decay, with a major gender disadvantaged for female older people and for older residents living in suburban contexts. The geo-referenced representation of results provided a mapping alert system helpful for decision makers to plan adequate interventions of social and urban requalification. Conclusions: Our study, beyond implicit ecological limitations, demonstrates, on the one hand, the importance of focusing a specific attention to inclusion and exclusion processes interesting older people in town environment, and, on the other hand, the opportunity of converting the already available and continuously updated datasets of city registry offices in useful planning tools, helping older residents to better experience later stages of life within the increasing complexity of the contemporary urban setting.
978-3-319-65336-5
978-3-319-65338-9
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11567/880028
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