The Study on Spatial Interventions for Aging Communities in Tourism-oriented Historic Districts from the Perspective of Spatial Territoriality

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Aging-in Place represents the primary model of elderly housing in China. The current rapid urbanization has impacted the center city of Suzhou, one of China ’ s most important historic towns, and its elderly communities. The populations have changed under this circumstance. The city has witnessed the influx of new migrants from other cities and provinces for economic opportunities and tourists from all over the country for its historic legacies on the one hand, and the outflow of young adults to the new districts and other cities surrounding Suzhou on the other. As a result, the elderly residents have accounted for nearly 45 percent of the total population in the Old City. This paper examines the issue of spatiality for aging population using both qualitative as well as quantitative methods, and focus on Suzhou’s historic district of Pingjiang. It reveals that the rapid commercialization and the increase of the tourist has squeezed the urban and community spaces of elderly populations, and the spatial ambiguity and disorder have created further conflicts between different demographic groups. All these are challenging the original Aging-in Place model. The paper analyzes the behavior logics behind these phenomena, and proposes several urban design strategies at the micro-scales related to different aspects of the current situation including place identity, territorial division, and symbiosis of population that are intended address, which hopefully could restore the environment for Aging-in Place.
Spatial Territoriality, tourism-oriented historic districts, Interventions for Aging Communities