Understanding the wicked problem of providing accessible housing for the ageing population in Sweden

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While accessible housing is known as important to promote healthy ageing, the societal issue of providing accessible housing for the ageing population bears the characteristics of a “wicked problem”. The aim of this study was to gain a better understanding of crucial variables for decision-making about the provision of accessible housing for the ageing population in Sweden. Materials used for a deductive content analysis were elicited through a research circle involving three researchers and twelve non-academic representatives. Brown and colleagues’ conceptual five-dimension framework to address wicked problems was used for the understanding of crucial variables in decision-making about housing provision. The findings show that such reasoning is dominated by the socioeconomic dimension. Findings in the biophysical dimension reveal well-known challenges pertaining to the definition and interpretation of the concept of accessibility and its operationalization. The dimensions are intertwined in a complex manner, which is essential for effective and efficient decision-making. The findings could make decision-makers aware of the diversity of individual thinking involved when addressing this wicked problem. Acting upon the crucial variables identified in this study could contribute to progressive decision-making and more efficient ways to develop and provide accessible housing to promote health ageing.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1169
Number of pages21
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Health Care Service and Management, Health Policy and Services and Health Economy
  • Gerontology, specializing in Medical and Health Sciences

Free keywords

  • Ageing in place
  • Built environment
  • Decision support
  • Housing accessibility
  • Housing and health
  • Housing provision
  • Planning
  • Public health
  • Research circle
  • Trade-offs


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