Increasing Well-Being Through Socially Driven, Nature Based Community Design for Hawai’i Kūpuna

Date
2024
Authors
Torres, Aleksandra
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Bussiere, Simon
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Architecture
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Kūpuna in Hawai’i is a highly respected and honored term, which meansgrandparent, an elderly or an ancestor, but most importantly Kūpuna are considered traditions and culture keepers - a foundation for the future generations. And while the perception on Kūpuna’s importance and value remain the same, the dramatically changing demographics with a substantial increase in elderly population and the high cost of living in Hawai’i, the future of Kūpuna in terms of comfortable, healthy living is in a big question. The important connection to ‘Ohana and ‘Aina imbedded in the Hawaiian culture is neglected in the current design of senior housing models available to the local elderly, which contributes to the negative mental health conditions, social isolation and feeling of loneliness and low-mobility. Besides of the extremely high costs of those senior housing and facilities that too many cannot afford, they are designed with a focus on physical and biological health aspects of aging, failing to address not only social well-being but they also often lack integration and contact with a natural environment, which is scientifically found as an important factor in a human comfort, health and happiness, as well as successful and healthy aging.
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Architecture
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144 pages
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