Aging, Health, and Environments (2018-)

Homes and neighborhoods are increasingly the places where healthcare is being delivered to older people—replacing special facilities (e.g. nursing homes and hospitals). Led by Jennifer Molinsky and Ann Forsyth a series of projects are examining how home, neighborhood, and city environments can better support an aging population. They are also responding to the COVID–19 pandemic though interdisciplinary working groups.

Jennifer Molinsky has led up work by the Joint Center for Housing studies on aging including Projections and Implications for Housing a Growing Population: Older Households 2015-2035. This report explores how by 2035, more than one in five people in the US will be aged 65 and older and one in three households will be headed by someone in that age group. This growth will increase the demand for affordable, accessible housing that is well connected to services far beyond what current supply can meet. This report charts the health concerns and housing needs of this growing population.

Other work by the group is exploring aging in place in the U.S, Australia, and in China. Ann Forsyth and Jennifer Molinsky are older people’s ideas about their needs as they age and the actual character of the homes and neighborhoods they inhabit. They are also investigating how climate change will affect older people through where they live–their homes, neighborhoods, and regions. The China project, with Ann Forsyth as collaborator, explores social technologies to support older low-income people and is led by  Drs Arthur Kleinman, Fawwaz Habbal, and Hongtu Chen).


2024        Forthcoming, A. Forsyth. Urban Design and Healthy Suburbs. In M. Larice, M. O’Neill Robinson, and A. Penniman eds. The Routledge Handbook of Urban Design Practice. New York: Routledge.

2024     A. Forsyth and Y. Lyu. Making Communities Age-Friendly: Lessons from Implemented Programs. Journal of Planning Literature 39, 1: 3-24.

2024     Y. Lyu and A. Forsyth. Technological Devices to Help Older People Beyond the Home: An Inventory and Assessment Focusing on the Neighborhood and City Scales. Cities and Health 8, 1: 91-106.

2023     J. Molinsky and A. Forsyth. Climate Change, Aging, and Wellbeing: How Setting Matters. Housing Policy Debate 33, 5: 1029-1054.

2023      Forthcoming, A. Forsyth. Active Living and the Politics of Implementation: A Review Essay of Political Exercise: Active Living, Public Policy, and the Built Environment (2022), Political Science Quarterly.

2023        A. Forsyth. Enriching Places for Longevity: Does a Gender Perspective Make a Difference? In T. Haas and M. Schwab eds. Women reclaiming the city: An International Research Handbook on Urbanism, Architecture and Planning. Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield.

2023      A. Forsyth. Creating Healthy Neighborhoods: Reflecting on Places, Processes, and Prospects. Landscape Architecture Journal (China) 30: 15-19.

2023       A. Forsyth, Digitalization and the Home: Scale, Audience, Levels, Time, and Equity. Commentary, Joint Center for Housing Studies:

2023       J. Molinsky, S. Scheckler, B. Hu. Digital Technology and Aging in Place, Joint Center for Housing Studies:

2022    A. Forsyth. The Boldness of Healthy Cities. Journal of Comparative Urban Law and Policy 5, 1: 22-25.

2022         Y.Lyu and A. Forsyth. Planning, Aging, and Loneliness: Reviewing Evidence about Built Environment Effects. Journal of Planning Literature 37, 1: 28-48.

2022       C. Herbert, J. Molinsky, S. Scheckler, and K. Dragan. “Health Spending Among Older Adults Before and After Mortgage Payoff.” (Madison: Center for Financial Security, University of Wisconsin-Madison.

2021       Y. Lyu, A. Forsyth, and S. Worthington. Built Environment and Self-rated Health: Comparing Young, Middle-aged, and Older People in Chengdu, China. HERD: Health Environments Research and Design 14, 3: 229-246.

2021    A. Kleinman., H. Chen., S.E. Levkoff., A. Forsyth, D.E. Bloom, W. Yip, T. Khanna, C.J. Walsh , et al. Social Technology: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Improving Care for Older Adults. Frontiers Public Health, 9.

2021    J. Molinsky, W. Airgood-Obrycki, R. Harrell, S. Guzman, Which Older Adults Have Access To America’s Most Livable Neighborhoods? An Analysis Of AARP’s Livability Index, Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies.

2021     A. Forsyth and J. Molinsky. What is Aging in Place? Confusions and Contradictions. Housing Policy Debate 31, 2: 181-196 [Free reprint]

2021    H.Y. Kan, A. Forsyth, and J. Molinsky. Measuring the Built Environment for Aging in Place: A Review of Neighborhood Audit Tools. Journal of Planning Literature 35, 2: 180-194 [Abstract]

2020     A. Forsyth. What is a Healthy Place? Models for Cities and Neighborhoods. Journal of Urban Design 25, 2: 186-202 [Free reprint–total of 50] Forthcoming, Reprinted in T. Townshend, Urban Design and Human Flourishing, Routledge, 2021.

2019     A Forsyth, H.Y. Kan, J. Molinsky. Improving housing and neighborhoods for the vulnerable: older people, small households, urban design, and planning Urban Design International 24, 3: 171-186.

2019       C. Herbert and J. Molinsky. What can be done to better support older adults to age successfully in their homes and communities? Health Affairs. 38, 5.

2019. Joint Center for Housing Studies. Housing America’s Older Adults 2019. Cambridge, MA: JCHS.

2019       J. Molinsky, C. Herbert, and A. Forsyth, Housing and Planning Supporting Healthy Aging. P. Coll ed. Healthy Aging – A Complete Guide to Clinical Management. New York: Springer International Publishing.

2018     J. Molinsky and A. Forsyth. Housing, the Built Environment, and the Good Life. Hastings Center Report September-October: s50-s56.

2018 Joint Center for Housing Studies. Housing America’s Older Adults 2018. Cambridge, MA: JCHS.

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