AGEING IN CHINA

Mobibity and pubic

transportation

We live in environments such as country, city, town, neighborhood or family and we have created systems to help us, such as government, justice, education, health, economy or transportation…
Many have benefited from systems we have created but some have been left out and isolated, it leads to poverty, homelessness, addictions, unemployment and even discrimination.
As a result, we can say that these systems have created complex problems, and that’s the purpose of this case study about ageing in China and mobility.
We will see how innovations can make positive changes happen by addressing these complex problems at their roots. Changing them in such a way to reduce the vulnerability of people in their environment. 
As a consequence of a positive innovation a system grows more resilient.

 

First, the goal was to find a tool to understand how they interact with public transportation, to use a tool that allows to identify needs and requests, to define problematics on the context. In a way to get relevant feedbacks, tools have to be adapted to the studied target habits and ways of living, in our case, elderly people.

According to this approach, it's through the fact to capture, decompose and analyze elements that we can highlight points and be aware of the different weaknesses created by a system, in our project, public transportation. 

By keeping a look on and following the elderly on the street, it appeared that taking pictures was the ideal tool to highlight weaknesses.

ABOUT MOBILITY

Mobility provides body and social improvements. By being assimilated to our well being, it creates the link between the environment and our body, health or hobbies. In the urban environment, public transportation embodies mobility which aims to create proximity. This system helps citizen to grow in their environment, but is it actually well adapted to all of them?

In Shanghai, a city of opportunities, where time is precious for young generations, elderly people are being left out by their offspring who work and emancipate themselves in their life goals. Because they have needs and have to be independent, most of these elderly people use public transportation in their daily life.

By using our tool and understanding the followed people habits, we can set bus transportation as an easy way for them to move in the city, have access to convenience stores and public areas such as parks where they like to meet each others and socialize.

In these three drawings which represent observations and pictures taken on the field, we can figure out people's behaviors when they are waiting for the bus and board it. Based on these observations, we can highlight two main weaknesses: accessibility and disorientation
Indeed, because the network is in constant evolution and they don't have access to maps or detailed schedules at the bus stop, they get lost. They are waiting for buses on the road in order to be able to look for the one they need and see it arrive. 
Because of the crowd created by some of these people on the road, buses can't stop next to the sidewalk which creates a high step and difficulties for the elderly to get on board. They are also subject to different risks of collision caused by the traffic and people who are in a hurry to get in.

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By working with space designers and developing concepts, my goal was to fix these previous issues.  In order to improve this environment, we needed to work on the space design as well as on the digital environment. Indeed, we wanted passengers to instantly be aware of next buses, maps and schedules while staying safe in the bus stop. 
We thought it in such a way that they can socialize with each others and have access to all the informations they need without having to wait for buses on the road and allowing buses to stop by the sidewalk, which answers the  elderly's accessibility issues.

We needed to get feedbacks on our first ideas which is the reason why we asked the elderly about their use of technology in their daily life. Because they are independent, most of them use social networks such as WeChat to be in touch with their families and friends but also apps which provide personal services.
They are confident with the digital environment and portable devices, they plan through their smartphones their everyday life. Based on these feedbacks, we incorporated in the bus stop an interface allowing passengers to set their personal journey and consult different predefined locations.
For each of these searches and planifications, the service allows them to have access to informations such as next buses hours, changes, cost of the trip, travel time, distance and different filters to set the ideal trip and adapt these last settings.

Because the environment, buildings, landscapes are in constant evolution, the interface allows them to scan and follow, through their smartphone, upgraded directions along their journey. This guide aims to reassure the elderly and answer disorientation issues we noticed during our first observations.