Environment and Gerontology

Conveners

Mark del Aguila

University of South Australia, Australia

markdelaguila@gmail.com

Adriana Portella

Federal University of Pelotas, Brazil

adrianaportella@yahoo.com.br

Aims

To improve understanding of interrelationships between elderly people and their built and natural surroundings, and to help create environments responsibe to their needs; to facilitate communication among those concerned with the relationships between people and their physical environment; to stimulate research and innovation for improving human well-being and the physical environment; and to promote the integration of research, education, policy and practice.

Activities

The 2019 IAPS Symposium ‘Ageing in Place in a World of Inequalities: How to Design Healthy Cities for All’ will take place from 27 to 30 November 2019 in Brazil, in the city of Pelotas. This is a event promoted by the IAPS Environment and Gerontology Network.

The 2019 IAPS Symposium ‘Ageing in Place in a World of Inequalities: How to Design Healthy Cities for All’ will take place from 27 to 30 November 2019 in Brazil, in the city of Pelotas. This is a event promoted by the IAPS Environment and Gerontology Network.

27-29th November 2019, Brazil

Deadline for abstract submission: 31 July 2019.
Deadline for registration: 15 October 2019.
Deadline for photographic exhibition call: 15 October 2019.

The School of Architecture and Urbanism of Federal University of Pelotas (UFPel) will host the Symposium with the support of IAPS (Internacional Association of People-Environment Studies), PlaceAge Project, Laboratory of Behavioral Studies of UFPel and Program of Postgraduation in Architecture and Urbanism of UFPel. The Symposium is also part of Centre for Healthy Cities, Ageing and Citizenship Project, which is part of UFPel Institutional Program for Internationalization.

This Symposium recognises that merely changing the built environment is not enough to create a more inclusive city for ageing because places are more than physical spaces. Viable environments are articulated through a strong sense of place, defined as the social, psychological and emotional bonds that people have with their environment. A strong sense of place results from access to support for active participation, opportunities to build and sustain social networks and it plays a significant role in the community. In contrast, a sense of exclusion or lack of opportunities to reciprocate, mediate and control is associated with alienation, isolation, and loneliness, often resulting in many health and well-being problems, particularly among the most vulnerable. Socially, the creation of age-friendly urban environments that support the sense of place is a part of successful ageing, ensuring that people can continue to contribute positively in old age, delaying the need for institutional care and reducing health costs and social assistance.

Within this context, we invite academics, researchers, professionals, and students to participate of this Symposium to discuss how to design healthy cities for all generations, responding to different environmental, social, cultural and economic impacts.

@ESRC Newton Fund Research Project – Healthy Urban Living and the Social Science of the Food-Water-Energy Nexus: UK-Brazil Calls for Collaborative Research.

2016-2019

‘Place-Making with Older People: Towards Age Friendly Communities’ is a £808,289 Research Project funded by ESRC-Newton Fund. It is a partnership project led by Heriot-Watt University, UK, with Dr. Ryan Woolrych (PI-UK), and by Federal University of Pelotas, Brazil, with Dr. Adriana Portella (PI-BR). The research commenced in May 2016 and will be concluded in April 2019.

Ageing populations in the UK and Brazil have generated new challenges in how to best design urban environments that support and promote everyday social engagement and healthy urban living for older people. As they age older adults, face declining physical and cognitive capacities, changes to their living arrangements and loss of social supports. In response to this, the ageing-in-place agenda has become an important issue in redefining policy for older. The ageing-in-place agenda posits that the preferred environment for older adults to age is in the community, where they can remain active, engaged, socially connected, and independent. However, contemporary urban cities can be ‘unfriendly’ and ‘hostile’ to older adults, acting as a barrier to accessing social, economic and civic opportunities.

This research recognizes that simply changing the built form is not sufficient to create a more inclusive environment for ageing since places are more than physical spaces. Viable environments are articulated through a strong sense of place, defined as the social, psychological and emotional bonds that people have with their environment. A strong sense of place results from having access to supports for active participation, opportunities to build and sustain social networks, and assuming a meaningful role in the community. In contrast a feeling of displacement or ‘placelessness’ is associated with alienation, isolation and loneliness, often resulting in adverse health and well-being outcomes, particularly amongst vulnerable older adults. Societally, the creation of age friendly urban environments that support sense of place is integral to successful ageing ensuring that older adults can continue to make a positive contribution in old age, delaying the need for institutional care and reducing health and social care costs.

This research was submitted to the ‘Healthy Urban Living and the Social Science of the Food-Water-Energy Nexus: UK-Brazil Calls for Collaborative Research’. Partners: Heriot-Watt University, UK; University of Edinburgh, UK; University of Dundee, UK; Keele University, UK; Manchester Metropolitan University, UK; Federal University of Pelotas, Brazil; University of Brasilia, Brazil; Federal University of Minas Gerais, Brazil; Federal University of Rio Grande, Brazil.

Holding network meetings of IAPS

19 Alexandria 2006, and IAPS 21 Leipzig 2010.