With a rapidly aging population, many cities around the world will have to betransformed to meet the demands of their aging inhabitants (Beard and Petitot, 2010).Sustainable urban development needs to consider everyone if it wishes to havepositive social outcomes (Dempsey et al., 2009). A growing group of the population,often not considered in developing countries, is the elderly, and this group is growingparticularly fast in Shanghai. Many aspects of the city used by the elderly will have tobe rethought, including transportation what is meant by:
. In urban planning,this term is often used as a synonym for “transportation”.
often considers theneed of young segments of the population as transport systems are commonly plannedto support the active population in the economy. Shanghai’s government is developingthe transportation system in view of improving
on those terms. However this
planning often lacks consideration for the ease of access to the transportationsystem, herein:
Questions need to be raised concerning the
of the transportation system for the elderly. Urban planners will need to consider
as an integral part of
As China starts to face a large structuralchange in its population, and Shanghai, arguably its most modern city, is often seen asthe precursor for all changes that take place in the country, displaying trends for futurechanges and leading the way with solutions. By the 2030s, China will see itspopulation decline, and beside the country side being emptied from on-goingrural-urban migration, much of these structural changes will begin to occur in citieslike Shanghai where the majority of working immigrants will have settled and wherefertility rates have already dropped massively as people delay childbearing. The scaleand speed at which this demographic change is taking place is unprecedented inhuman history. It is a challenge to the scale of Shanghai, but which will also be facedin other rapidly developing countries. Even if changes are happening much faster thanseen before, Shanghai has the advantage of not being the first city in the world to gothrough this transition and so it can observe and learn from other cities, especially indeveloped countries where the transition started earlier. Furthermore, Shanghai is stillbenefiting from an influx of young workers from rural areas, but this will eventuallyslow down. Unless we argue for a Chinese exceptionalism where all old people wouldreturn to the country side, it is very clear that a rapidly aging population will affectShanghai and considering the size of the city, the impact of these changes will beenormous.
Few studies have been published on the upcoming changes to the urbanpopulation structure in China. Most studies on the topic of aging demographic datesback to the 1970s and 1980s in Western countries. In China, research on the topicfocuses on the causes for the decline in children per household or the consequencesthis decline has on the economy, but aging has often been disregarded as aconsequence. Much of the research also focuses on the rural aging population, thehealth and pension implications for policy-making related to old age. Few studieslook at the consequences an aging population will have on urban development. Fewarticles have been published on how the built environment affects