Remembering Community Settings: Exploring dementia-friendly urban design in British Columbian municipalities




Przydatek, Maria

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Focusing on the relationship between individuals with dementia and their environments, this research explores how to improve quality of life for those with dementia by increasing the capacity of existing urban public spaces. A content analysis of municipal planning documents (N =51) contextualized interviews, conducted with municipal urban planners (N =13) in the province of British Columbia, exploring their perspectives on designing dementia-friendly public spaces. Seven themes were identified from the findings. Furthermore, planners did not know much about planning for dementia, either suggesting they were perhaps already addressing dementia through other disability guidelines, or saying they did not know what could be done in the urban environment regarding dementia. They were open to learning more about dementia-friendly approaches. Incorporating the key dementia-friendly principles of familiarity, comfort, distinctiveness, accessibility, safety, inclusiveness and independence into age-friendly policy or Official Community Plans would promote designs that benefit persons with dementia, as well as many others with mental and physical impairments.



dementia, urban design, healthy built environment, urban planning, dementia-friendly, British Columbia