Research project

Ageing well in urban environments

Developing age friendly cities and communities

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Start date

May 2018

Completion date

January 2020



Economic and Social Research Council

Indian Council for Research in Social Science

Increasing ageing populations and urbanization in the UK and India have generated new challenges in how to best design urban environments that support and promote everyday social engagement and active, healthy urban living for older people.

While ‘ageing in place’ suggests that the home and local community are preferred environments for older adults to age in, this is not always the case. Cities can be ‘unfriendly’ and ‘hostile’ for older adults, preventing access to social, economic and civic opportunities and more complex understandings of the interrelationships between physical, social, psychological and emotional aspects of place are required to promote active, healthy ageing.

This project unpacks older people’s experience of their urban environments, investigates ways of enhancing positive ‘sense of place’ and explores how ‘sense of place’ can be incorporated across socioeconomic, cultural and national divides into age friendly design, planning and development.

Data generated in interviews, photovoice and ‘go along’ walks with older people in the UK and India, together with community mapping and policy workshops with service providers and policy makers are analysed in cross-national workshops and recommendations for policy and practice will be made.


Project lead(s)

Professor Judith Sixsmith

External team members

Heriot Watt University

Manchester Metropolitan University

Sri Venkateswara University