Research Topic

Healthy Aging and the Community Environment

About this Research Topic

Population aging is a global issue that brings many challenges to modern societies. Healthy aging and aging in place are important public health priorities which rely heavily on having supportive community environments that meet the needs of older adults. Such environmental supports may include barrier-free home and neighborhood environments, daily destinations located within an easy walking distance from home, connected and well-maintained sidewalks, benches and lighting along streets/paths, and clearly marked crossings and sufficient crossing signal time, among many others.

The recent generations of older adults also present unique characteristics and preferences for housing and lifestyle, for which traditional forms of senior living may not be adequate. New approaches to senior living, such as intergenerational communities, green house, co-housing, and medical cottage, continue to be explored and experimented in various contexts. Smart technology is another driving force for changes in senior living. Furthermore, increasing rates of Alzheimer's disease and related dementias present another challenge that requires responsive strategies in the design and planning of community environments. While much research has been done in the past to examine the impacts of community environments on aging, we are facing a new era of aging with unique populations and socio-cultural contexts.

To better respond to the needs of the current and future generations of older adults and to the growing societal needs of making our community environments friendly to people of all ages and abilities, we invite submissions of manuscripts that address the following topics or other author-proposed topics related to the overall theme.

· Active living/aging: How can the community environment (e.g., homes, transportation systems, neighborhoods) help older adults adopt and maintain active lifestyles?
· Age-friendly and inter-generational community: Can age-friendly or inter-generational community promote older adults' health and quality of life? What are the features of age-friendly or inter-generational community that can promote aging in place?
· Dementia-friendly Environments: Can the community environment help support independent, active, and healthy living among people with memory problems?
· Innovative forms of senior living: Will the emerging forms of senior living (e.g., green house, co-housing and medical cottage) be able to help address some of the challenges related to population aging?
· Cross-cultural differences: What are the similarities and differences in the environmental and community-based approaches to dealing with population aging across different cultures/regions?
· Smart technologies: Will the emerging/smart technologies help improve or maintain health and quality of life of older adults and facilitate aging in place?

We welcome articles addressing the role of community environments in healthy aging. Community environments encompass diverse scales (e.g., homes, streets, neighborhoods) and domains (e.g., built, natural, social). We also accept diverse manuscript types, including Empirical Research, Literature Reviews, and theoretical and methodological work. We encourage the submission of long abstracts (800 words if possible).


Keywords: aging in place, built environment, neighborhood, active living, dementia-friendly community


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

Population aging is a global issue that brings many challenges to modern societies. Healthy aging and aging in place are important public health priorities which rely heavily on having supportive community environments that meet the needs of older adults. Such environmental supports may include barrier-free home and neighborhood environments, daily destinations located within an easy walking distance from home, connected and well-maintained sidewalks, benches and lighting along streets/paths, and clearly marked crossings and sufficient crossing signal time, among many others.

The recent generations of older adults also present unique characteristics and preferences for housing and lifestyle, for which traditional forms of senior living may not be adequate. New approaches to senior living, such as intergenerational communities, green house, co-housing, and medical cottage, continue to be explored and experimented in various contexts. Smart technology is another driving force for changes in senior living. Furthermore, increasing rates of Alzheimer's disease and related dementias present another challenge that requires responsive strategies in the design and planning of community environments. While much research has been done in the past to examine the impacts of community environments on aging, we are facing a new era of aging with unique populations and socio-cultural contexts.

To better respond to the needs of the current and future generations of older adults and to the growing societal needs of making our community environments friendly to people of all ages and abilities, we invite submissions of manuscripts that address the following topics or other author-proposed topics related to the overall theme.

· Active living/aging: How can the community environment (e.g., homes, transportation systems, neighborhoods) help older adults adopt and maintain active lifestyles?
· Age-friendly and inter-generational community: Can age-friendly or inter-generational community promote older adults' health and quality of life? What are the features of age-friendly or inter-generational community that can promote aging in place?
· Dementia-friendly Environments: Can the community environment help support independent, active, and healthy living among people with memory problems?
· Innovative forms of senior living: Will the emerging forms of senior living (e.g., green house, co-housing and medical cottage) be able to help address some of the challenges related to population aging?
· Cross-cultural differences: What are the similarities and differences in the environmental and community-based approaches to dealing with population aging across different cultures/regions?
· Smart technologies: Will the emerging/smart technologies help improve or maintain health and quality of life of older adults and facilitate aging in place?

We welcome articles addressing the role of community environments in healthy aging. Community environments encompass diverse scales (e.g., homes, streets, neighborhoods) and domains (e.g., built, natural, social). We also accept diverse manuscript types, including Empirical Research, Literature Reviews, and theoretical and methodological work. We encourage the submission of long abstracts (800 words if possible).


Keywords: aging in place, built environment, neighborhood, active living, dementia-friendly community


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

30 June 2020 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

30 June 2020 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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