The Elderly Person and the Liveable Asian City

Dr Katrina Louise Moore1

1University Of New South Wales Sydney, Sydney, Australia

Do Asian cities welcome the elderly?  How can cities become more liveable for elderly persons? This talk draws on social geography and anthropological perspectives to explore the concept of the elder-friendly, sustainable city. Sustainability pertains both to ecological issues, as it does to sustaining a life within an ecosystem. The talk draws on the author’s data from research conducted in western Japan in the summer of 2017 and incorporates insights from other cities in Asia. Its aim is to interrogate the design of the liveable city by paying close attention to gender, age, and mobility, and equity of access to support structures. Background discussion will address the streetscapes, design features, and history of urban planning in these cities.  The paper will then review a small range of technological aids used within these cities, including health status monitors, medical devices, home design features, and diet enhancement.  By looking at the plethora of aids, the paper seeks to move beyond simply describing the sheer number of long-living elders in these cities to analysing in-depth the creative appropriations of technology and space occurring in these cities today and are expected to take place in the future.


Katrina Moore is lecturer at the University of New South Wales, Sydney. She is the author of Joy of Noh: Embodied Learning and Discipline in Urban Japan (SUNY Press 2014); and contributed chapters to Vera Mackie and Mark McLelland (eds). Routledge Handbook of Sexuality Studies in East Asia (Routledge 2015); Maren Godzik (ed) Altern in Japan. (Verlag 2009); and articles in Aging and Anthropology (2017), Japanese Studies (2013); Asian Anthropology (2010), and Journal of Cross-Cultural Gerontology (2010).


The Asian Studies Association of Australia (ASAA) is the peak body of university experts and educators on Asia in Australia. Established in 1976, we promote and support the study of Asia in Australian universities and knowledge of Asia among the broader community. Our membership is drawn mainly from academics and students, but also includes industry and government Asia experts. We take a strong interest in promoting knowledge about Asia in schools and in contributing to state and Commonwealth government policies related to Asia. We provide informed comment on Asia to a broad public through our bulletin, Asian Currents, and specialist research articles in our journal, Asian Studies Review. Four book series published under our auspices cover Southeast Asia, South Asia, East Asia and Women in Asia.

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