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 contends that the variegated nature of urban living, lived experience and indeed, age itself is frequently generalised in policies geared toward the ageing, urban population.

In response, I examine relational understandings of place in the context of a burgeoning policy interest. Through the development of a creative, participatory methodology, I draw on recent innovations within more-than representational thinking to develop research attentive to the fluid and habitual nature of lived experience. In doing so, I 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 what might be understood as an ‘Age-Friendly City’ by examining the lived experience of place and age, and considers how this might be addressed within future policy and approaches to an ageing urban population. I have just completed a 6-month exhibition, held across various sites in Greater Manchester, that details the intricate individual and collective relations with place amongst older people in Prestwich, Greater Manchester. Details of the exhibition can be found here.

Illustration by Tony Pickering