'Aging in Place' or 'Stuck in Place'? The Aging in Place Experiences of Older Adults in a Gentrifying Neighborhood in Hong Kong

Ho Wing Kayson LAU*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Other Conference ContributionsConference Paper (other)Other Conference Paperpeer-review


Urbanization and population aging are two of the most critical global trends in the 21st century. In particular, the aging experiences of older adults living in gentrified urban areas has raised the attention of scholars from various disciplines. Urban aging concerns how and why some older adults can thrive in urban life while others are struggling to adapt. Hong Kong is experiencing 'double aging' - an aging population and a large scale of aging buildings, which make it particularly challenging to strike a balance between urban renewal and preservation of the community for older adults to age in place. The challenges caused by double aging has raised a question of whether older adults are aging in place or being 'stuck in place‘. In the existing literature, however, there is little attention paid to the potential impacts of gentrification on older adults who would like to age in place in Asian regions, especially Hong Kong. In light of this, this study aims to examine the aging in place experiences of older adults in Kwun Tong - a neighborhood that is undergoing rapid social and urban changes due to urban renewal and gentrification. It seeks to understand the dynamic and changing constitution of places where older people are living in and how these conditions affect the aging in place experiences of older residents.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 3 Dec 2022
EventHong Kong Sociological Association 23rd Annual Conference: Health and Wellbeing in (Post-) Pandemic Times - Lingnan University, Hong Kong, China
Duration: 3 Dec 20223 Dec 2022
Conference number: 23


ConferenceHong Kong Sociological Association 23rd Annual Conference
CityHong Kong
OtherAs an unprecedented public health crisis, the COVID-19 pandemic has become the focal concern of sociologists around the world. Globally, there have been over six hundred million confirmed cases, including over six million of deaths. Over the past few years, we have experienced the tremendous impacts brought by the pandemic on various domains of life. Apart from infected and death cases, we have seen a surge of mental health issues, suicides, domestic violence, as well as plummeting economic growth and escalating unemployment and poverty rates. Whether to embrace the “new normal” by easing public health and social distancing measures is a contentious issue as much among world leaders as ordinary citizens. From a sociological perspective, most impacts brought by the pandemic are believed to be structural and long lasting. As not everyone has equal access to vaccines, personal protective equipment, healthcare and other resources, health and social inequalities are expected to be worsening. There are also concerns about the lack of affordable childcare and technological equipment for attending online classes during pandemic times, which would have lingering effects on education, digital, and social inequalities across generations.

Against this background, this conference aims to address the pressing issues of health and wellbeing in pandemic and post-pandemic times from a sociological perspective. It provides a platform for scholars, students, and other stakeholders to discuss the implications of the pandemic for health and social inequalities among other issues. On that basis, participants will explore practical and policy responses to enhance health and wellbeing in the (post-)pandemic condition.
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