What if...? Decision support in times of multiple change
Not only with the just started retirement of the large cohort of baby boomers, an enormous change in society is already taking place now and in the next two decades, which raises fundamental questions about the future organization and performance of our spatial structures and entails fundamental changes in the way we plan spaces at different scales. The aging generation generally enjoys good health, is fit, and often has free time for leisure, travel, and volunteer work. At the same time, however, this change is accompanied by considerable difficulties: the baby boomers, for example, sometimes occupy enormous living spaces in the newly built neighbourhoods of past decades. They often live on the periphery, making both local supplies and medical infrastructure less accessible. Mobility can prove problematic as they age. And what’s more, all of this is happening at a time of other significant upheavals such as climate change, the energy crisis, changes in the world of work, AI or digital transformation.
The research project “Ageing Smart”, funded by the Carl Zeiss Foundation, investigates data- and AI-supported possibilities for dealing with societal upheavals and aims to develop a decision support system that can extrapolate developments into different possible futures in order to visually clarify which decisions cause which spatial consequences ("What if...?") and to be able to base better arguments on this. In addition to the overall social development of neighbourhoods with defined goals for quality of life, the transformation of the housing stock and questions of infrastructure supply, mobility aspects and medical care are examined in particular.
The Special Topic at REAL CORP 2024 deals with multiple change as well as decision support, puts the topic of demographic development into a common focus and tries to open and discuss a broad perspective. In addition to our own contributions from the Ageing Smart research project, we are looking for high-calibre contributions from other institutions and research projects that deal in the broadest sense with the spatial-structural planning and organisational aspects of societal change, corresponding spatial modelling and scenario development, spatial-strategic decision support and the associated data, methods, visualisations, tools and concepts, and call on the scientific community to submit corresponding proposals.