ISSN: 2717-4417

Document Type : Research Paper


Department of Architecture, Faculty of Engineering, University of Mohaghegh Ardabili, Ardabil, Iran.


- Physical and safety considerations alone are insufficient to enhance the quality of life for the elderly.
- Urban spaces adapted to the needs of the elderly positively impact social well-being.
- Improved social well-being fosters increased social interactions and participation.
- Elderly-friendly cities align most effectively with the preferences and requirements of the elderly.
- Enhancing social well-being reduces medical costs associated with chronic diseases in the elderly.
Scientific projections predict a significant increase in the elderly population in the coming years, emphasizing the need to address their diverse needs and social interactions. This demographic shift necessitates urban spaces that evolve to support the well-being and productivity of the elderly. The economic and social implications of an aging population underscore the importance of attending to the social needs of the elderly, as neglect limits their social participation and diminishes their overall quality of life. Research indicates that maintaining an active lifestyle and regular social interactions can significantly contribute to preventing dementia. While existing studies often focus on the physical needs of the elderly in public spaces, insufficient attention has been given to their social needs, particularly in urban settings. This study aims to assess the impact of environmental and physical factors on the social well-being of the elderly in urban public spaces, using Mosalla Park and Sheikh Safi Sidewalk in Ardabil City as a case study.
Theoretical Framework:
The concept of active aging, initially centered on maintaining health and productivity through physical activity, has evolved to emphasize personal decisions, independence, and increased quality of life for the elderly. "Active aging" involves participation in social, economic, and civic life to maintain well-being, emphasizing opportunities for meaningful activities that facilitate independence. The World Health Organization highlights the crucial role of urban public spaces and social factors, in addition to genetics and personal characteristics, in determining the health and well-being of individuals. Elderly-friendly cities are those where the distribution of public facilities aligns most closely with the preferences and limitations of the elderly.
This descriptive-analytical study employed both library research and surveys to collect necessary information. The research was conducted in two stages at Mosalla Park and Sheikh Safi Sidewalk in Ardabil, Iran. Physical factors were classified, and a researcher-made questionnaire was utilized to gather expert opinions on the impact of these factors on social well-being. Subsequently, elderly participants answered the Keyes standard social well-being questionnaire. Data from both stages were analyzed using SPSS 26 software.
Results and Discussion:
Comparison of physical factors between the two case samples, assessed through the Wilcoxon non-parametric test, revealed that Sheikh Safi Sidewalk exhibited more favorable conditions than Mosalla Park. The Cochran–Mantel–Haenszel test demonstrated a positive correlation between physical factors and social well-being in the elderly, with Sheikh Safi Sidewalk participants reporting better social well-being. Notably, "Footpaths with a slope of less than 5%" emerged as the most influential factor affecting the social well-being of the elderly.
The study emphasizes the need for planners and designers to reconsider physical criteria, particularly those related to the architecture and design of urban spaces, to enhance the social well-being of the elderly. Collaboration between social health advocates, urban designers, and architects is crucial to formulate policies and strategies that address the needs of the elderly, promoting their active involvement in social life and reducing the medical costs associated with chronic diseases.


Main Subjects

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