This article aims to construct an underpinning for interdisciplinary aging and environment studies in Lebanon, as well as the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, in order to contextualize neighborhood accessibility and the invitation quality assessment tool in relationship with older adults’ physical and social activities. The main purpose of this study is to evaluate the urban physical settings and the landscape infrastructure quality of the Ras Beirut neighborhood, around the case study “Moadieh Assisted Living Facility,” to understand constraints of the residents’ ease of access to the outdoor environment. The SAFE (Safety, Attractiveness, Friendliness, Efficiency) Assessment tool was applied to measure key qualitative and quantitative objective urban measures that related to older adults’ accessibility and connectivity to their needs and services in the immediate neighborhood, specifically for those residing in assisted living facilities (ALFs). Direct observation was used as the data collection instrument to record the key outdoor characteristics of urban settings within a 300-meter radius (about two blocks) of the case study. In order to distinguish various neighborhood characteristics for the study area within the indicated urban context, the study employed the GIS spatial analysis technique. The GIS technology enabled us to manage a database for the spatial relationships between the neighborhood features through explanatory maps. The GIS maps helped to determine the spatial factors’ quality, their geographical locations, and the contextual relationships in the study area, such as street and sidewalk features, building facades, and landscape buffers.
|Keywords:||Older Adults, Neighborhood, Community, Invitation Quality, SAFE Assessment Tool, Built Environment|
Assistant Professor, Department of Landscape Architecture, American University of Beirut, West Sacramento, CA, USA
PhD, Professor and Chair, Department of Epidemiology and Population Health, American University of Beirut, Beirut, Lebanon