Analyzing for Age-Friendliness within Planning Policies in the City of Waterloo
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Planning for individuals with varying degrees of impairments has, over the past 40 years, challenged conventional approaches to community development. However, more recently there has emerged, both within research and greater society, a need to understand how the disabling nature of the built environment impacts our inevitably aging population. Recognizing such, this thesis research explores whether planning policies within the City of Waterloo reflect an age-friendly model of development. Moreover, recognizing that the aging population increasingly experiences some form of impairment, this research further utilizes universal design as means to more comprehensively review for an aging supportive model. The fundamental goal of an age-friendly approach is to address the needs of individuals at all stages of their life with an obvious emphasis on promoting longer independence. A number of literature sources were utilized in developing two separate analysis tools that focused on goal-oriented policies such as Official Plans as well as prescriptive planning policy including Zoning By-laws and Urban Design Guidelines. This research attempts to provide a means with which to determine the age-friendliness of planning policies, how age-friendly policies may incorporate provisions regarding accessibility, as well as changes that municipalities may wish to consider in the implementation of an age-friendly model.