From my book Advertising to Baby Boomers ©2005:
Chapter Four: Give Boomers Room for Choices
….When developing or molding a community for Baby Boomers, start with the concept of ―neutral. Do not confuse this with ―sameness. For example, when designing an indoor community space, do not assume that it will be used mostly for Bingo. Fashion it with flexibility so that it may be used for almost anything...
Why did I say this? Because I knew Baby Boomers were going to do whatever they wanted to do with their lives, their living spaces. More from my book:
… The common term used for such places is “Planned Communities.” However, when presenting planned communities to the public, Baby Boomers could wince at the concept. You know it’s planned, we know it’s planned (What else could it be?)—but “planned” may sound too restrictive to Boomers. We don’t like the idea of anything planned. We want to do it ourselves, construct our own lives. Let us sustain the illusion, or a partial illusion: communities are not planned. We do not want to live in prefab theme parks. “Next-Stage Housing” sounds a bit stilted, but at least it’s on the right track.
Some Baby Boomer sociology experts predict that semi-retirement and retirement communities will naturally develop personalities based on shared interests. These could be gardening, motorcycles, vegetari- anism, the arts, even a community where the shared interest might be financial speculation.
Brent Green, author of Marketing to Leading-Edge Baby Boomers, believes that many 50-plus communities will become hotbeds for social activism. If we have a resurgence of our youthful activist days, it may be to pick up where we left off—revivifying proactive sensibilities Boomers had as teenagers and young adults, an idealistic fervor that “once gave us the greatest sense of engagement and meaning.”
When developing or molding a community for Baby Boomers, start with the concept of “neutral”. Do not confuse this with “sameness”. For example, when designing an indoor community space, do not assume that it will be used mostly for Bingo. Fashion it with flexibility so that it may be used for almost anything.
Finally, housing industry folks are getting wise:
A Guide To The New Retirement Communities
Richard Eisenberg, Contributor
… In the past, with traditional retirement communities, people were dependent on a company or nonprofit to create them. That traditional model was much more top-down..
The Forbes piece talks about Co-housing, Niche retirement communities, NORCs (Naturally Occuring Retirement Communities), Shared housing – all concepts covered by yours truly and others a decade ago.
Louis Tenenbaum, Aging In Place Guru, shows up in this recent PBS NewsHour segment:
Check out Louis’ blog: Aging in Place Ideas
Many more links and posts: