|M.Sc Thesis||Department of Architecture and Town Planning|
|Supervisor:||Prof. Emeritus Churchman Arza|
The Aged are a significant part of our society. Most of them reach old age and function in it in good physical condition; which allows them to make use of their free time a fact which planners must adjust to and accommodate This thesis examines the relationship between physical environmental factors and the activity of elderly people within the city
The physical environmental factors we measured were the slope of the street on which the informants live the distance from their houses to different destinations, traffic volume on the streets, and the number of stairs on their way to the bus stop.
Activity was divided into two categories
1. Optional/Elective Activity 2. Necessary Activity. The urban space that was examined was within the city of Haifa mostly in the Carmel Center The research sample numbered 106 interviewees and was designed in such a Way as to assure a sample with freedom from economic problems that might influence their behavior outside the home and with a reasonable degree of mobility The research was done mainly by individual structured interviews which included questions in areas related to activity outside the home. In addition residential areas were examined in order to objectively assess the physical conditions in which the informants lived.
The findings showed that for this population group, there is no connection between physical conditions and the quantity of urban activity. The quantity of activity was influenced more by personal variables such as sex family status car ownership etc., than by physical factors. We conclude that factors such as residential location within a city center that offers a large variety of living in the same neighborhood all combine to minimize the influence of physical-environmental factors of the sort examined here.
We conclude that population groups with characteristics similar to the one studied can cope with an environment that presents a certain, level of physical difficulties, and that a central urban location is preferable for the elderly. This population at its present functional level is not in need of far reaching changes in its physical environment.
The identification of the special needs of this group brings us to a thought about the necessity of developing community services that will answer their special needs, and that will provide for a loss of functional ability in the future.