At a time when over 50% of the world’s population is urban, ageing is a critical issue for urban governance and planning. Globally, by 2050, there will be more over 65s than under 14s and in the UK, over 65s will constitute a third of the population by 2030. My research responds to these significant issues by focusing on the World Health Organisation’s Age-Friendly City Guide.
Whilst the guide was produced in 2007 to provide a ‘universally applicable’ checklist for the creation of ‘Age-Friendly’ environments, this research contends that the Age-Friendly Cities Guide generalises the variegated nature of urban living, lived experience and indeed, age itself.
In response, my research examines relational understandings of place in the context of the Age-Friendly City. Through the development of a creative, participatory methodology, it will draw on recent innovations within non-representational thinking to develop
research attentive to the fluid, embodied and habitual nature of lived experience. In so doing, it will further situate the research within debates on the development of inclusive, convivial and multicultural cities to connect the study of ageing with studies concerning ‘multidimensional shifts’
in social complexity.
Ultimately, my research aims to transform understandings of the ‘Age-Friendly City’ by examining the lived experience of place and age, and considering how this might be addressed within future policy and approaches to an ageing urban population.