Community for Life
Planning a city for an ageing population
The landscape in Co-existence village is weaved into the dense urban structure. Small squares, sensing gardens, pocket parks, playgrounds and blue-green biotopes create plenty of opportunities for social exchange as well as contemplation. There is space for having animals and growing vegetables – activities that contribute to the therapy of dementia patients. The landscape is strategically planned to help “nudge” people to stay in the area in a friendly way, which is important for the safety of people suffering from dementia.
Cars are kept on the periphery of the masterplan, making the central area a safe and slow space for soft traffic only.
Co-existence village is an ambitious urban development that brings core value of the Nordic welfare society in front and creates a new norm for social sustainability. The masterplan innovatively integrates a dementia village into a diverse residential neighborhood with housing, youth housing, collective housing, transitional housing, kindergarten, workshops, community houses and a knowledge centre.
This co-existence village is planned for people of all ages, healthy and sick. Sickness is a part of life – and this project takes that into account by denying the ordinary process of putting sick or disabled people into institutions. Instead the neighborhood is prepared to include everyone, also the ones with dementia, which is an illness that often tends to start early on, when people are neither old nor physically ill.
Common houses each have their own color
– to ease wayfinding and create an identity for the area
A “yellow brick road” goes in a loop in the center of Co-existence village, connecting buildings and public spaces. The loop is important for dementia sufferers: if you are on the “yellow brick road” you know that you will always find the way back to the same starting point. Community houses are placed by the loop like pearls on a string. They each have their own color – to ease wayfinding and create identity for the area. Colorful and tactile materials such as brick, ceramics, wood and old fashioned colorful plaster are used to create the color palette.
Building volumes are shifted and broken up to create a good flow through the courtyards, and a variety of experiences at eye level. The buildings are Low Rise High Density, and the height varies from 2 to 4 floors. Southwest facades have a buffer zone in the form of winter gardens, double facades and green facades – multitasking as solar shading, social space and greenhouses.