Developing age-friendly cities
Developing environments responsive to the aspirations and needs of older people has become a major concern for social and public policy.
Although the issues raised by the 'age-friendly city' movement are well understood at the level of the World Health Organisation and European Union, awareness within relevant academic disciplines is still limited.
This pilot study will fill an important gap in the literature by providing a research framework for age-friendly neighbourhoods. As part of the development of Manchester as an age-friendly city, the project aims to identify ways of improving the physical and social environment of particular Manchester districts by building on the experiences and participation of older residents.
The aims of the project are first, to explore older people’s experiences of social exclusion and inclusion in their neighbourhood; second, to improve our understanding of the opportunities for older people for engagement and the desire to be engaged; and, third, to inform age-friendly policies and practices.
The research follows a key principle of the WHO guidance by prioritising the role of older people in producing research and developing plans to improve the age-friendliness of their neighbourhood.
An important feature of this work thus will be the active involvement of older people, not only as research participants, but also as experts and actors in all stages of the project, including the design, execution and interpretation of the research, as well as the development of neighbourhood action plans on the basis of the findings of the research.