Friendly housing estates, what are they?

from the left: Adam Senetra, Elżbieta Zysk, Agnieszka Dawidowicz and Marta Figurska
This is a housing estate for the elderly – this is what in 3-4 years’ time developers will be able to claim when selling a flat to a client and it will be the exact truth, not advertising. The fact that they will not be lying will be attributable to the researchers from the University of Warmia and Mazury working on a universal tool for housing estate evaluation.

The research team includes dr hab. inż. Agnieszka Dawidowicz, prof. UWM from the Department of Real Estate Management and Geographic Information Systems – the head of the team, dr hab. Adam Senetra from the Department of Socio-Economic Geography, dr inż. Elżbieta Zysk from the Department of Spatial Analysis and Real Estate and dr inż. Marta Figurska from the Department of Socio-Economic Geography. All of them are employed in the Faculty of Geoengineering.

In August, the team of prof. Dawidowicz began the research on what kind of housing estate can be considered senior-friendly.

Prof. Dawidowicz and her team intend to scientifically determine how to make the living area convenient for the elderly.

“Let us start with the fact that the concept of senior citizen-friendly housing is not precisely defined. It is not clear-cut and everyone understands it in a different way. Our work, therefore, begins by establishing what we understand by this term,” adds prof. Dawidowicz.

Consequently, scientists will start their research by establishing a profile of a senior citizen. What is a senior citizen? A senior citizen’s profile is a set of the most common features which describe a senior in a scientific manner. The team from Kortowo will develop such profiles for seniors from individual housing estates in Olsztyn, Gdańsk, Warsaw, Cracow and Poznań. Subsequently, they will compare those different profiles and identify a typical profile. Using these measures, they will be able to establish a list of indicators for friendly housing estates and give these indicators an importance-based weighting.

Why will they not work in small towns or villages that are also inhabited by seniors?

“Because in large urban settlements we can find all types of seniors, unlike in small communities, and those seniors there form a more homogeneous group,” explains prof. Dawidowicz.

“Our aim is to create maps of senior-friendly housing estates. These maps will be created automatically using artificial intelligence. They must therefore be universal. Everyone will be able to use them. Our indicators will be very useful for architects, urban planners and developers when planning and designing housing estates. They will certainly be useful to city administrators and real estate agents when guiding people, who think about old age, and senior citizens themselves into housing to settle down. We will not, however, be involved in implementing our evaluation system,” adds prof. Dawidowicz.

In the photo, from the left: Adam Senetra, Elżbieta Zysk, Agnieszka Dawidowicz and Marta Figurska.

The project entitled “The concept of identification of senior-friendly housing estates” is financed by the National Science Centre, under the “Opus” 18 competition, in the amount of PLN 370 thousand. It will be implemented in August 2020 for three years.


Lech Kryszałowicz


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