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Promoting the applied research and innovation in the cross-space created between the active ageing and living environment sectors

Europe faces an unprecedented demographic shift, with almost one out of three Europeans being 60 or older in 2060; by 2030, 80% of European citizens will live in urban areas.
In order to take up these challenges, the construction industry must initiate and/or pursue profound changes.

Therefore, the Active Ageing & Design (AA&D) Committee will address the following challenges:

  • Adapt the existing built environment and design next one so that the elderly can remain longer independent in their homes and lead healthy and active lives in public spaces and infrastructures. This implies a major upgrade of the current housing stock as well as infrastructures with a focus on mobility, with appropriate technical and financing solutions in terms of age-friendly and holistic renovations. Here again, today’s low renovation rate turns this required housing stock upgrade into a major challenge.
  • Propose new (largely ICT-based) services to support the daily living of older citizens in their homes, public spaces and infrastructures ("building as a service").
  • This implies to embrace a citizen-centred approach of the built environment, including two main dimensions: first, how users are incorporated into the processes of designing space (“design by users” or “co-design”), and second, how users' experiences and existing practices can be used (and shaped) to better inform and manage the built environment operation (“design for users”).
  • Addressing this challenge also represents a wider opportunity to deal with the generic issues of inclusiveness (not limited to age) and accessibility, and how to design and adapt the built environment for maximised performances to this regard.


The goal set by the AA&D Committee, in compliance to the ECTP Strategic Research & Innovation Agenda 2021-2027, is to focus on Built for and with the people.
The 2030 objective is that Europe becomes a world leader in age-friendly, inclusive, well-connected spaces; participative planning & design; and valorisation of Cultural Heritage.
To establish a built environment that allows any European citizen to live better and more sustainably in 2050, the ambition by 2030 is to take a real advance in the adaptation of buildings and infrastructure to the needs of an ageing population. Urban planning and building design must become fully participative processes in order to integrate at best the user needs while complying with climate and environmental constraints. Citizen involvement shall also become a reference to optimise the operation of built assets and valorise urban green spaces. The built environment must integrate all knowledge and innovations that can contribute to improve the indoor and outdoor environment quality, and the responsiveness of buildings and mobility infrastructures in view of increased comfort and customised services. New technologies, in particular digital ones, shall be used to increase the accessibility and inclusiveness of the built assets, and take maximum benefit of the cultural heritage which contributes to regenerating depopulated areas, developing tourism, and liaising between social communities. Finally, new business models and financing mechanisms must be invented to make tomorrow’s improved built environment within the reach of all European citizens.

In order to accomplish these goals, the AA&D Committee will undertake the following actions:
1. Champion initiatives for people centric transformation of the built environment;
2. Promote the mission and research priorities to maintain relationships with other relevant initiatives across Europe and beyond;
3. Share best practices and latest advances across member organisations.


ECTP Active Ageing & Design Committee Chair: Marta Fernandez Bertos (RMIT Europe)

AA&D Committee Executive Board

  • RMIT Europe (Marta Fernandez Bertos, Chair)
  • ASM (Joanna Syrda)
  • BBRI (Stefan Danschutter)
  • FIEC (Jean-Christophe Vanderhaegen)
  • TECNALIA (Silvia Urra)
  • TNO (Menno Hinkema)
  • TU EINDHOVEN (Helianthe Kort, Masi Mohammadi)
  • UNIVERSITÀ POLITECNICA DELLE MARCHE (Lorenzo Scalise)
  • UTRECHT UNIVERSITY (Alex Peine)
  • VTT (Sami Kazi)
  • ZAG (Sabina Jordan)
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