Aging and Mobility - How future mobility systems can contribute to successful aging; four scenarios for the Netherlands
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The Dutch society, as well as other modern societies, is aging. Aging of modern societies is one of the most significant trends within the field of sustainable transport. Mobility is considered to be important for older adults’ wellbeing. However, mobility becomes at risk as individuals age. Mobility systems can be described as a combination of the land-use system and the transport system. The wellbeing of older adults can be described as a combination of low risk, high capacity and engagement with life, which together make for successful age. This research focuses on the question how future mobility systems can contribute to successful aging. The theoretical framework shows that mobility plays a role for engagement, as mobility provides the ability to access social relations, social activities, services and facilities. Moreover, mobility provides the ability to go travel and sightseeing. Furthermore, the theoretical framework shows that all dimensions of successful aging are influenced by the mobility system. By using the approach of backcasting, interviews are conducted at firms, knowledge institutes, government and interest groups. The data from these interviews is used as the input for a scenario analysis. Based on two key dimensions, four different scenarios are formed (1) concentrated living, multimodal transport, (2) dispersed living, car-dependent transport, (3) concentrated living, car-dependent transport and (4) dispersed living, multimodal transport. The scenarios provide different combinations of contributions from the mobility system to successful aging. The first and second scenario are contrasting in terms of contributions to successful aging (the third scenario is a combination, the fourth scenario is not considered to be feasible). A proportion of the future older adults can be expected to live concentrated. However, another proportion can be expected to live dispersed. Consequently, depending on the dwelling situation, contributions from both the first and second scenario can be considered as possible improvements for the design of the mobility system. By doing so, mobility systems can be designed in such a manner that they contribute successful aging.