2018-2019 Work Package 3 – Designing for Sense of Place

Work Package 3 – Designing for Sense of Place

WP 3 is designed to translate the findings from WP1 and WP2 into local and national policy and practice guidelines and tools and resources for designing sense of place for older adults which accommodate both the need for independence and mobility whilst encouraging social participation and community engagement. These resources extended what we currently know i.e. in terms of Inclusive and Universal Design, by being more clearly articulated around older adults’ experiences of sense of place, and in particular their active contributions as place- and sense-makers that construct meaning and sense of self in interaction with their environment, a perspective that is lacking in current approaches to the design of age-friendly environments (Loe, 2010).

The policy and practice guidelines were developed through Policy and Practice Forums (PPFs) focussing on synthesising the findings from across the project to specifically address the questions of what age friendly policy and practice actions are necessary to support the sense of place needs of older adults? Workshop 1 focused on the development of a set of place guidelines for creating age friendly cities within each of the case study sites, including: neighbourhood features and local amenities; design of community places and social spaces; cultural supports to enable ageing-in-place. Workshop 2 focused on the development of a toolkit for urban practitioners that will detail specific procedures and methodological processes for effectively engaging older adults in the planning and design process. These guidelines presented examples of the methods undertaken in the research, alongside other co-design and collaborative dialogue methodologies. Workshop 3 worked towards developing a Sustainability Plan identifying specific ways in which the age friendly city and community agenda can progress in each of the case study cities. These included specific place management and maintenance practices and institutional supports that need to be adopted to ensure that the partnerships developed in this research are sustained in the long-term.

Each workshop  involved up to 30 participants including the following groups: (i) policy makers and those who implement age friendly guidelines at a local level, e.g. local authorities, planners and developers, architects; (ii) agencies or charitable bodies that are involved with older adults; (iii) campaign groups that support older adults and the design of inclusive places and spaces; (iv) older adults and senior advocacy groups.

Researcher notes were recorded in the workshops. Data were analysed using grid analysis and cross sectional thematic code and retrieve methods to specifically identify priorities required for the development of sense of place guidelines. At the end, the UK, Brazil and Indian teams produced a reporting on the findings from the workshops and process for how the guidelines were developed.

A national event is going to be undertaken in each of the  participating countries, focussed on launching the sense of place development guidelines. The national event involved: older adult groups, community organisations, policy makers, local government, urban planners and developers. A cross-national event will be held in the UK, involving project team members focussed on cross-national comparative analysis of the guidelines developed from WP3, identifying interweaving and overlapping elements of place across the case study sites and designing and overseeing the end of project aspects of the dissemination plan.