Who Cares was a competition on finding a way to make space for innovations on care for aging people and for people with restrictions in the setting of a revival of existing housing quarters going into decline. In our team people from the care sector and data science participated.
The goal of our plan was to find a way for elderly people to live at home for as long as possible and for people with restrictions to take part in society. We did research and put together profiles of the different groups to be able to make a design that would fit their needs.
Since 42% of the existing housing stock in the Netherlands is made up out of terraced housing, we realised that there’s a big task in adapting these for the future to make them socially and technically sustainable. In Flevoland terraced housing makes up even 60% of the stock. We sent in our plan for Almere Haven, but the concept can be applied to any quarter. We realised that the making of such a plan has limited means for architectural expression. But the challenge for creative engineering goes beyond. Also the opportunities for improving the urban design are worthy.
In our plan, the terraced houses can be adapted optionally based on the needs of the future residents. An elderly couple might want to divide their house horizontally into two separate apartments, so they can rent out the upper level to someone else when the time comes that they are no longer able to climb the stairs. For people with specific restrictions, a whole block of terraced houses can be transformed into a group house with different studios and care facilities. Families do not necessarily have to make adaptions to their house, they can just choose to make their house more technically sustainable which will save them money in the long run.
Additionally to updating the physical environment, we also introduced a virtual environment in our plan: an ICT system called WijkCare. The system stimulates and activates different care groups, by providing them with ways to do more tasks by themselves. The big data analyses and selflearning processing forecast future health problems. With this precautions can be provided for by the care provider. Emergency signaling is built in too. It provides an easy way to communicate with care providers. Wijkcare also makes it easier for care groups to seek contact with family, friend or nurse. Communication, activation, signaling.