The PlaceAge Project seeks to answer three research questions each related to a general objective:
(i) How is sense of place experienced by older adults from different social classes living in diverse neighbourhoods in the UK, Brazil and India?
(ii) What services, amenities and features are needed to create age friendly communities that promote healthy cities and active ageing in different urban and cultural contexts?
(iii) How can communities be designed to better integrate the sense of place needs of older adults across different urban and cultural contexts?
(i) to investigate how sense of place is experienced by older people from different social settings living in diverse neighbourhoods in the UK, Brazil and India;
(ii) to translate these experiences into designs for age friendly communities that support sense of place;
(iii) to better articulate the role of older adults as active placemakers in the design process by involving the community at all stages of the research.
Addressing the main aims, the project has the following interconnected objectives:
Objective 1: to establish and compare how older adults from different social classes and urban and cultural contexts construct sense of place with a focus on identifying opportunities, challenges, facilitators and barriers to social participation, independence and being active and engaged in the community through capturing everyday routines, mobility and walkability, and access to and use of community spaces and amenities.
Objective 2: to translate the data obtained from objective 1 into sense of place maps and designs for community in order to provide a valuable visual representation of how a community values, understands and interacts with place and to identify the significant features within the environment that embody place. This will be achieved through participatory mapping workshops undertaken with the community to facilitate knowledge production from the ground-up.
Objective 3: to translate the findings from objectives 1 and 2 into guidelines for designing sense of place for older adults reflecting user´s needs from different social classes and urban and cultural contexts which accommodate both the need for independence and mobility whilst encouraging social participation and community engagement. The guidelines are directed towards identifying urban design and planning principles for practitioners, urban regeneration professionals and policy makers to guide the development of age friendly cities and communities.