Currently, in Finland approximately one fifth of the population live in the neighborhoods built in the 1960s and 1970s. The built environment is aging, and at the same time the share of the oldest resident cohorts is growing. The neighborhood built environment and social cohesion become important for vulnerable groups, such as older people, who spend a lot of their time at home and in the surroundings. Urban densification and renewal of the old neighborhoods need to take into consideration the local population structure, their needs for the physical and social environment. This paper presents an ongoing case study. The objective was to recognize the meaningful spaces for inclusive social activities in the neighborhood, focusing on aging residents. Qualitative and mixed methods were used to study older people’s lived experiences and their relation to the neighborhood. The case study neighborhood is undergoing an important urban development process. A new service hub, with commercial and public services as well as a new metro station, is attracting seniors to move to the area. As most activities are concentrated in the new service hub, access to local services become more difficult for vulnerable groups. The spaces for informal social encounters within the neighborhood are getting fewer and more people of all ages are living in one-person households than previously. To build socially sustainable communities, the integration of all resident groups is important. Successful urban transformation benefits new residents, but also include current residents. The densification and renovation taking into account Universal Design principles can support the vitality, social cohesion, and attractiveness of a neighborhood.
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