Future mobility in an ageing society: Where are we heading?

I. Shergold, G. Lyons, C.G.T.M. Hubers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

70 Citations (Scopus)
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The demographic profile of UK society is changing as people live longer. Maintaining the wellbeing and quality of life of an ageing society is set to be extremely challenging. To what extent can the state afford to meet a potentially burgeoning demand for social care? What expectations will be placed upon informal carers to enable the system to cope? In what ways and to what extent might assistive technologies have a part to play in supporting people both in terms of active ageing and in relation to coping with failing health? Beyond these questions is one which is more explicitly pertinent to transport policy: how and where will older people live and how will this affect patterns of mobility and levels of travel demand? This paper reports on a scenario planning exercise which has examined four different futures for living in later life, defined by considering two critical uncertainties: the extent to which older people in society engage with new healthcare technologies; and the extent to which the state provides care for people living in later life. The scenarios, explored with transport, ageing and assistive technology experts, serve to highlight how social practices may be shaped in very different ways both for older people and for those with whom they interact. The paper goes on to examine the implications for future mobility – such as the role of the home as a trip attractor as well as a trip generator – as well as to explore the extent to which transport policymakers are equipped to address the uncertainties for the transport system of an ageing society.
Keywords: Assistive technologies, Scenario planning, Older people, Travel demand
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)86–94
JournalJournal of Transport & Health
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2015


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