It can be difficult for many older adults to enjoy walking in Ottawa without somewhere to rest. The availability of seating areas was identified as one of the top urban age-friendly features for older people who participated in the Older Adult Plan consultations in 2011. As part of the Older Adult Plan, the City began installing additional benches on sidewalks in areas of the city with the highest concentrations of seniors (based on demographic data). In order to determine the most suitable locations for benches within these areas, the Infrastructure Services Department mapped amenities such as retirement and long term care residences, hospitals, shopping malls/grocery stores, and parks. For example, placing a bench mid-way between a retirement residence and a shopping mall was considered an optimal choice of location. A list of potential bench locations was then validated with a focus group of older adults. To date, the City has purchased and installed 34 additional benches at various locations across the city with high concentrations of seniors. The bench design meets accessibility standards in terms of height and arm rests. Installing additional seating across the city represents a simple initiative that supports seniors to go out, access services, and participate partake in walking and outdoor activities.
Main target group: Older people in general
Other target group(s): Older people with mobility challenges
Sector(s): Urban development
Desired outcome for older people:
Name: Dodsworth, Peter
Email address: Peter.Dodsworth@ottawa.caPreferred language(s): English