Sustainable built environment for facilitating public health of older adults: Evidence from Hong Kong

Shuangzhou Chen, Zhikang Bao*, Junjie Chen, Linchuan Yang, Vivian Lou

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In response to the United Nations' call to build a sustainable and age-friendly society, older adults' public health, normally measured by functional capacity, has been of increasing concern on a global scale. The built environment is closely intertwined with the functional capacity of older adults, as evidenced by extensive studies. However, most studies have focused on exploring linear relationships between the built environment and functional capability yet overlooking non-linear relationships. This study aims to investigate non-linear relationships between the built environment and older adults' functional capability. Therefore, this study conducted in 2018 adopts a generalized additive mixed model based on a sample of 1083 participants in a typical aging society of Hong Kong. The results discover improved functional capability among older adults who are younger, female, living with family members, with a longer care cycle and fewer comorbidities. The results also support non-linear relationships between the built environment and older adults' functional capability. The optimal functional capability of older Hong Kong adults was found under a specific threshold of built environment factors, such as park density with a desirable number of 5 ± 2, intersection density with a maximal threshold of 200, the highest sky view percentage possibly, and land-use diversity with a minimum threshold of 0.6 for entropy index. The study is of value for relevant stakeholders and policymakers to implement sustainable and age-friendly urban planning for the built environment for facilitating older adults' public health.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1086-1098
Number of pages13
JournalSustainable Development
Volume30
Issue number5
Early online date8 Mar 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 10 Oct 2022

Keywords

  • age-friendly urban planning
  • Hong Kong
  • older adults
  • public health
  • sustainable built environment
  • sustainable development

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Development

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