Design for Grandparents

Evidence suggests that the presence of some grandparents can substantially increase the chances of a child surviving during the high risk period of infancy and childhood in traditional communities.  Grandparents in industrialized societies invest a significant amount of time and money in their grandchildren. Taking care of the grandchildren when the parents are at work, providing financial resources and providing emotional support are just some of the many ways in which grandparents invest in their grandchildren.  It would appear that grandparents can be an hugely valuable asset.

However a short study by Coall and Hertwig of the universities of Edith Cowan and Basel, has demonstrated that there is a lack of research on the role of grandparents in Western societies, and an almost complete separation of evolutionary and sociological literature on the subject.

Beyond Lifetime homes and neighbourhoods, there is surely an opportunity for urban designers interested in this subject to conjure up ways of creating environments where the generations can flourish together.