Laurieston Cross: A Dementia Friendly Neighbourhood
The project offers a vision into the often underestimated role and potential of the social and physical environment in dementia care, overshadowing the conventional medical approach to the condition.
Dementia is a national and global urgency, both in terms of the associated high mortality rates and the current focus of care in addressing the issue. The fact that individuals with dementia are primarily cared for through medicine, contradicts the very root of the problem. The vast majority of dementia - causing factors are far more responsive to environmental mediation in comparison to pharmacological intervention. Conventionally, dementia ‘care’ carried out in confined, isolated and institutional environments, which is hence detrimental to the problem.
To tackle the urgency, the proposal seeks to integrate a Dementia - Friendly Neighbourhood (DFN) within future phase 3 of Laurieston Transformational Regeneration Area (TRA) in Glasgow. The neighbourhood is set to mark the site in the form of a cross, forming ‘Laurieston Cross’, a distinct addition to the city’s existing forty crosses. Renown for their accessibility, walkability, and activity, crosses are ideal locations to engage with physical and socio - environmental factors. The proposal seizes the opportunity to finds solutions to existing limitations, such as striking the balance between safety and independence, in order to create a ‘neighbourhood for life’. Essentially, the DFN masterplan follows an in - depth set of proposed physical and social criteria, formulating a model and guide which can be adopted and adjusted elsewhere, particularly in centralised locations. DFNs are not only key in managing symptoms but in reversing cognitive dysfunction and addressing the root of the issue.
Shifting the focus of care to the hands of the environment enables the issue to be addressed more holistically and inclusively. Individuals with dementia will be able to manage their symptoms, reverse cognitive decline, and experience an improved quality of life where they can continue to live their normality, as integral members of their community. Management of symptoms would be more common for moderate to severe stages, reversal of cognitive decline for mild stages, and prevention of dementia from occurring in the first place would be possible for general public involved, who are too exposed to the physical and social factors in the environment.
The DFN Masterplan incorporates the following zones:
A – Entrance Buffers
B – Streets
C – Cross
D – High Street
E – Severe Dementia Housing
F – Moderate Dementia Housing
G –Community Centre