Importance of Considering Culture (02-11-19)

A Konig-lead team confirms the important links between culture and the experience of place.  The researchers report that “The living environment plays a critical role in healthy aging. . . . The aim of this study was to shed light on older adults’ (. . .ages 70+) living situations and their demands on the neighborhood in two countries, the United States . . . and Germany. . . . Differences between countries were more pronounced than differences between age groups or living areas, indicating that cultural influence is a key aspect of needs assessment for neighborhood design. . . . As opposed to Americans, Germans had higher expectations of their immediate neighborhood to fulfill their local (e.g., public transportation) and social needs (e.g., family nearby), but countries did not differ regarding global needs such as safety. Our findings suggest that successful aging in place can be supported by a neighborhood that meets people’s needs, but also takes their cultural background into consideration.”

Katharina Konig, Martina Raue, Lisa D’Ambrosio, and Joseph Coughlin.  “Physical and Emotional Support of the Neighborhood for Older Adults: A Comparison of the United States and Germany.”  Journal of Environmental Psychology, in press, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvp.2019.01.008