AgeLab Research Scientist Lisa D'Ambrosio served as the invited keynote for the “Friendly Spaces and Mobility for Aging” Special Session at the AESOP Conference in Venice.
AESOP, or the Association for European Schools of Planning, chose "Planning for Transition" as its theme for 2019, which is meant to highlight aging as one of the transitions that is affecting communities and cities.
The Special Session was organized by Anabela Ribiero, who is a Professor at the University of Coimbra in Portugal. Dr. Ribiero works on the MOBI-AGE project, which is focused on sustaining mobility for older adults in cities of the future. MOBI-AGE has support from the MIT Portugal Program.
Dr. D'Ambrosio's talk was titled “Designing Places and Planning Spaces for the Next Generation of Older Adults.” She discussed the rise of longevity, the MIT AgeLab's activities, and the Lab's research tools, notably AGNES. She delved into the ways that AgeLab has used AGNES in research around the built environment, including shopping, mobility and transit access.
She closed her talk by identifying opportunities for research - on human-centered design, the "last twenty-five feet," and "layering" mobility options and solutions - and making three pleas to designers of products and services for older adults: make it beautiful, make it social, and make it fun.