Intergenerational Contact Zones – A Compendium of Applications

Posted: May 3, 2016

The driving question addressed in this online publication is: How do we create great settings for intergenerational engagement? The approach is centered around defining and exploring applications of the concept of “intergenerational contact zones,” ICZs for short. These are spatial focal points for different generations to meet, interact, build relationships and, if desired, work together to address issues of local concern.

The 14 chapters of this online publication are filled with examples of how well conceived and designed ICZ spaces can help breathe new life into communities. Chapter authors explore applications in diverse community settings, including community centers, parks,  museums, schools, cohousing communities, supermarkets, and city streets and sidewalks. Some applications involve settings that are not typically thought of as hubs of intergenerational activity or possibility, such as small, sparse bus stops (see Jason Danely's chapter), abandoned castles slated for restoration and adaptive reuse (see Tom Quinlan's chapter), and online gaming platforms designed for family play (see Eyu Zang and Leng Leng Thang’s chapter). Across these and other settings, the intent is to provide an accessible resource for aiding in the conceptualization and design of spaces for intergenerational living and learning.