Stranded in suburbia

Planning for aging populations
February 16, 2012
3.68 MB

One of the most significant demographic changes in modern history is on the verge of occurring. Children born during the baby boom of post World War II are coming around full cycle, and we do not appear to have a well thought out plan to deal with this phenomenon. The first of the baby boom generation will be reaching age 65 within the next decade, doubling the current population of seniors by 2036. How does Manitoba intend to prepare for these dramatic changes? Our provincial health care system will be pushed to the limits, as will our ability to provide the services that will be needed.

The aging baby boomers, largely living in Winnipeg’s suburbs, will likely want to continue to live there. Suburban regions are characterized by low-density development and land use separation; buildings are spread out, and homes are completely segregated from the vast majority of services. This poses significant problems for delivering services, ensuring appropriate housing and providing transportation. Are Manitoba’s policies and strategies for addressing the aging population sufficient?

This report examines these trends, and provides some policy options for the Government of Manitoba to address these issues.