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Aging and the changing urban environment: the relationship between older people and the living environment in post-reform Beijing, China

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The Chinese population is aging rapidly. In Beijing, older people’s immediate environments have seen great changes and are important for their everyday aging experiences. This study explains the changing relationships between older people and their living environments by conducting in-depth interviews with 47 older people living at home in Beijing. Results show that older people’s perceptions of their living environments can be categorized by their relocation experience, residential and neighborhood type. Growing housing inequality in post-reform urban China reflects how older people assess their built environments changes. Social relations have changed tremendously with the formation of new social and residential spaces in the city, especially for those who have relocated to different types of residences. Current urban spaces create a sense of insecurity for the older generation that is familiar with the previous Work-unit system.
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Keywords: Old age; aging and environment; changing urban environment; post-reform China

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Geography and Planning, Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada

Publication date: January 2, 2020

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