Age segregation in city planning : the planner’s responsibility?
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We exist in a society of age segregation. The organization of life and society according to life-course and age-division commence at birth. Our age determines which age group we belong to, and with¬in this group, we are assigned tasks and activities that we have to complete. Accompanying these life stages are given spaces such as kindergartens, schools, workplaces and retirement homes. Such structures has created the normalcy of socializing with people from one’s own age group. We did not always live like this. This way of sub-dividing the population into age segments is a form of age segregation which in turns makes intergenerational relations difficult because there are barely any exposure to it, contrary to traditional family and community structures. In a city planning context, age segre¬gation in relation to social sustainability, social cohesion, innovation and future challenges, reveals un uncharted territory and a space of opportunity. This pertains to the research questions. By using the notion of apparatus in the Foucauldian sense and the theory of social mix, the project aims to identify the mechanisms such as laws, official standards, and social norms, in producing age segrega¬tion as a standard for structuring life-course. The project studies three cases which challenge the age-segregation dogma and further provides insight into the con¬ditions for establishing intergenerational relations. The purpose is to provide city planning with awareness and tools to facilitate social integration across age segments in the population.