This architectural sketch by Harrison Grierson Architects shows one example of how an intergenerational housing complex in outer Auckland might look. It features a flexible combination of apartments and terraced houses of different sizes including communal spaces and gardens. All units are barrier free, the apartments have the option of including lifts, and ecological principles have been taken into consideration. Please note: the buildings depicted do not represent a final architectural design.

Vision Statement To create opportunities for different generations to live together co-operatively while maintaining independence. We aim to begin by developing pilot projects in Auckland. We seek to build, modify, or work with a developer/building company in order to create apartment or housing units with some shared interior and outdoor spaces. Building will be planned according to ecological principles. Each generation will enjoy the benefit of living with neighbours whose intention is to offer support when needed, while also respecting privacy.

What is Intergenerational Living? The concept began in Europe about two to three decades ago with people in their 50s and 60s wishing to explore new living options. They wanted to find a ‘third way’ that avoided the disadvantages of either living alone in independent units or living exclusively among other older people in a retirement village. They saw that traditional support institutions such as the family, neighbourhood, community and church had weakened and felt the need for new solutions that would foster connection and a sense of belonging. In an Intergenerational Living complex, people of different ages live together in apartment blocks or separate (usually terraced) houses. Units may be rented or privately owned, with separate titles. Each individual/family has their own self-contained space complemented by community rooms and gardens. Typically the community rooms are used for meetings, shared meals and for workshops/hobbies.

In bigger complexes there might be a café which is open to the public, a laundry, rooms for child-care/youth activities, special ‘care apartments’ with professional care, and a guest room. Generally a complex will have 20-30 units and 40-60 residents. Ideally, one third of the inhabitants (families, singles, solo parents) will be younger than 40, one third 40 to 60 and one third older than 60. Residents show a willingness to embrace neighbourly co-operation. They give each other mutual support, for example help with driving, shopping, administration, paperwork, child supervision, and neighbourly help in illness and emergencies.