I just learned about a book called The Aging City, by Ruth Finkelstein and Senior Planet’s Tom Kamber. It sounds great, but A City for All Ages would have been a better title. Ramps are very handy for strollers and people of all ages with disabilities, and the more we can frame things intergenerationally, the better.
The design challenge is huge. I’m reading a collection of scholarly articles about ageism and one just made the point that if we see a 75-year-old having trouble getting out of a car we tend to assume that her leg muscles are weak or his balance is impaired, instead of considering how great it would be if the car seat swiveled. If a 25-year-old looks dopey riding a tricycle we don’t attribute it to enlarged limbs or loss of flexibility. Tricycles weren’t designed for 25-year-olds and cars aren’t designed with 75-yr-olds in mind—which doesn’t make either group deficient at the task.