NATIONAL NEWS - A symposium to discuss the future of independent senior living housing design in the United States will be held at the University of Maryland, College Park, May 7-9, 2010. The event is being jointly hosted by the School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation at the University, and, their Colvin Institute of Real Estate Development –along with the Neighborhood Development Collaborative, a national nonprofit community development organization.
Source: Neighborhood Development Collaborative
The event is being funded by the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, Chicago, Illinois, and, the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco – with significant support from the hosts. The 200-300 attendees will come from the architect, developer, and policy communities, nationwide. The event is free and open to the public but registration is required for the sessions. There will be a nominal charge for meals and the bus tour site visits. For registration information, please go to www.arch.umd.edu./SeniorHousing.
Margaret McFarland, Director of the Colvin Institute for Real Estate Development at the University of Maryland, said "We expect that this unique blend of participants will examine, stimulate, and provide, many ideas about how the next generation of seniors will live."
A similar symposium was held in 2005, and funding from the National Endowment for the Arts and Richard H. Driehaus Foundation allowed for the commissioning of a number of papers to document a baseline of information on the subject – demographic, history of senior housing in the United States, European models, local and national policy etc. About 30 nationally recognized architects, developers, finance, and policy experts discussed the future of senior housing in the United States, from their unique perspective. The results of the symposium point to a divergent reality, with the nursing home concept becoming a near non-reality.
Friday evening, May 7, will feature the keynote address and reception. May 8 will be the symposium and discussion session. The meeting will conclude on May 9 with site visits to four senior housing developments.
This year's meeting will revisit the assumptions made in 2005 – and examine those in the light of the economic, cultural, and design changes that have occurred in this country since 2005. The 2010 keynote speaker, Mark Robbins, Dean of the School of Architecture from the University of Syracuse, New York, will talk about the importance of design – and his views of design of future senior housing in the United States.
The keynote will be followed by top leaders from critical national organizations in the field, such as the National Association of Homebuilders, AARP, and the American Institute for Architects, who will discuss their developer, cultural and design views, respectively – and how they see the future of senior housing design unfolding.
Their will be plenary panels and breakout sessions during the symposium, to examine some of the specific opportunities and challenges which the future of this field faces – international design, multigenerational living, aging at home, technological impacts, developer challenges etc.
A new web site www.shdd.org is being established, and will contain the results of the 2005 and 2010 symposium, as well as, among other information and will link to the other national sites which contain information about the topic. The web site will an ongoing resource to the senior housing community.