Like most websites, the website of the University of Humanistic Studies uses cookies. Dutch regulations require websites to ask for approval the first time the site is visited. More information

Humanism and Philosophy

Vibrant Senior Communities (completed)

  • Start: 1 April 2020
  • End: 1 April 2022
  • Status: completed

Residential complexes for senior citizens often offer facilities to enhance the quality of social life. However, just a small part of the residents make use of these facilities, and many residents become lonely. That is why the City of Rotterdam launched the project ‘Vibrant Senior Communities’ (Vitale Woongemeenschappen). This study evaluates the approach.


The Dutch government’s policy is to encourage elderly people to continue living independently for as long as they can. To meet the growing demand for independent dwellings, many municipalities have designated residential complexes specifically for elderly people. Such complexes often offer extra facilities to enhance the quality of social life, such as places to meet and socialise. However, research has shown that just a small part of the residents makes use of these facilities, and that many of the elderly residents live increasingly lonely lives. This is also the case in Rotterdam. 

This was reason for the City of Rotterdam to launch the project ‘Vibrant Senior Communities’ in five residential complexes for senior citizens. The goal is to strengthen internal involvement with each other, to encourage social contacts, to improve the overall ambiance, and to reduce loneliness. This study evaluates the approach. 


Prof Anja Machielse


Several housing associations and welfare organisations in Rotterdam.


City of Rotterdam, Programme Ouder en Wijzer (‘Older and Wiser’)

See also

Download the report (in Dutch): “We hopen dat het leuker en gezelliger wordt” - Vitale woongemeenschappen in Rotterdamse ouderencomplexen (pdf).


Prof. Anja Machielse,

The municipality of Rotterdam started the 'Vibrant Senior Communities' project to increase the social quality in residential complexes for the elderly. This research evaluates the approach.