Healthy up High in Switzerland – sustainable «Ageing in Place»

The project validates Swiss-wide recommendations for action on sustainable «Ageing in Place» in communal housing settings in need of revitalization. The findings form the basis for the planning of a subsequent implementation project in this


  • Lead school School of Health Professions
  • Additional schools School of Architecture, Wood and Civil Engineering
    School of Social Work
  • Institute Nursing
  • Research unit Field of Innovation – Psychosocial Health
  • Strategic thematic field Thematic field "Sustainable Development"
  • Funding organisation BFH
  • Duration (planned) 01.10.2023 - 01.07.2024
  • Project management Tannys Helfer
  • Head of project Tannys Helfer
  • Keywords Ageing in Place, aging population, nutrition, physical activity, health promotion, planetary health, social well-being, structural (housing) environment, climate resilience/biodiversity, sustainabilit


The aging of the population is a challenge for healthcare, as well as for social and housing policies in Switzerland. The increasing demand for age-appropriate housing, the need for the revitalization of many high-rise buildings, along with changes in the needs and possibilities of living arrangements in the various phases of the residents' lives, make urban planning adaptations challenging and necessary. "Healthy up High in Switzerland" is a follow-up project from "Healthy up High" Gesund alt werden im Hochhaus | BFH at the Bern University of Applied Sciences (BFH). In this project, concrete recommendations for action were developed, based upon two high-rise buildings along with their communal housing settings in Bern, which were in need of revitalization. These recommendations focus on "Ageing in Place" and provide a direct benefit for upcoming revitalization measures. In the present project, the recommendations developed in "Healthy Up High" will be generalized, expanded upon, and validated. This will ensure that they will also be applicable at the national level, for other such communal housing settings in need of revitalization. To design the indoor and outdoor areas of these communal settings in a contemporary and nature-oriented manner, factors that are central to older persons, such as nutrition, exercise or social participation, as well as societal relevant aspects such as climate resilience and biodiversity, will be taken into account.

Course of action

The project "Healthy up High in Switzerland" applies a variety of methods to validate the national expansion of the recommendations for action. A literature review serves as the basis for the validation. Additionally, semi-structured interviews with Swiss key experts will be conducted to gain a deeper understanding of the implementation options in indoor and outdoor communal housing settings. If sufficient stakeholders can be recruited, a quantitative investigation of the relevance of the recommendations for action will be conducted by means of an online survey. The synergies of BFH's multidisciplinary team play an important role in the development of the project. The consideration of these multidisciplinary perspectives with the factors nutrition, physical activity, health promotion, planetary health as well as social well-being, structural (living) environment and climate resilience/biodiversity, is crucial. In this project, human health is linked to environmental health, thus enabling "co-benefits" to occur (benefits for both the health of older persons / all groups, as well as the environment - e.g. heat protection, biodiversity in green spaces). The broad thematic scope of the team and the involvement of diverse stakeholders to develop validated national recommendations for action, will additionally facilitate the team and stakeholders for the planning of a subsequent implementation project in this setting.

This project contributes to the following SDGs

  • 3: Good health and well-being
  • 11: Sustainable cities and communities
  • 13: Climate action
  • 15: Life on land
  • 17: Partnerships for the goals