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Older news bulletins
I'DGO TOO paper in British Journal of Sports Medicine
Reporting on the work undertaken by the OPENspace research centre on pedestrian-friendly neighbourhoods, the paper is entitled "Do changes to the local street environment alter behaviour and quality of life of older adults? The ‘DIY Streets’ intervention". With Prof Catharine Ward Thompson as lead author, the text focuses on findings related to the effects of street improvements on older people’s activity levels and health, aiming towards a better understanding of how environments support physical activity, especially across the life course. The paper includes in-depth information on the background to, and methods of, the study, as well as the findings and discussion of their implications.
Read "Do changes to the local street environment alter behaviour and quality of life of older adults? The ‘DIY Streets’ intervention" on the British Journal of Sports Medicine online.
Lynne Mitchell blogs on outdoor design and quality of life
Published on the Health and Wellbeing page of the Sustainable Business blog, the article addresses the need for supportive neighbourhood planning to ensure that people of all ages and abilities can remain active and independent. Written in the context of the National Planning Policy Framework, the blog looks at the role of Local Authorities, singling out Manchester and Edinburgh for their use of design guidance (including I'DGO guidance). The article is the third in a series written by, or with, the WISE research team for The Guardian.
Read ‘Outdoor design has an impact on the quality of life of older people’, by Dr Lynne Mitchell, on The Guardian Online
Read ‘Cities of the future should be designed with wellbeing in mind’, by Professor Elizabeth Burton, on The Guardian Online
Read ‘Are urban environments best for an ageing population?’, by Tim Smedley, on The Guardian Online
Elizabeth Burton blogs on The Guardian Online
Under the headline, ‘Cities of the future should be designed with wellbeing in mind’, Libby called for the design and planning of pedestrian-oriented, high quality environments with a strong sense of identity and community which encourage people to get out more and to feel both independent and safe. The blog comes two weeks after the publication of Tim Smedley’s article, ‘Are urban environments best for an ageing population?’, which called for a return to city living to address the needs of an ageing society. Also published on The Guardian Online, the piece featured a quote from Libby on the benefits of higher density living in older age, as well as the potential for public health money to be spent on adaptations to the built environment.
Read ‘Cities of the future should be designed with wellbeing in mind’, by Professor Elizabeth Burton, on The Guardian Online
Read ‘Are urban environments best for an ageing population?’, by Tim Smedley, on The Guardian Online
I'DGO Director says you really should get out more!
Entitled "You really should get out more!", the talk looked at the ways in which people respond to natural landscapes in their local environment , and the role of good landscape planning and design in unlocking the benefits of this engagement. Focusing on the links between landscape quality and quality of life, Catharine drew on findings from a number of research projects, including I'DGO , which investigates theses links across the life course. The lecture was one of a series hosted by CHSS and is available to watch, in full, online.
I'DGO PIs at LLHW Showcase
Both researchers are involved in LLHW pilot project, Go Far, which looks at older people, the built environment and outdoor falls. Presenting on the project at the event, Marcus focused on emerging findings and the impact on stakeholders, from AgeUK to the Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation (CIHT). Go Far also featured in an exhibition at the event, attended by 150 delegates from the scientific conference and representatives from local government, industry and the public.
Catharine Ward Thompson greets Princess Royal at OT showcase
The meeting took place at a London showcase for world-class occupational therapy research involving leading experts, policymakers and professionals from across the UK and North America. Hosted by the College of Occupational Therapists, the showcase was organised by KT-EQUAL, the EPSRC-funded knowledge transfer group of which Catharine is a Co-Investigator. Focused on bringing research into practice, it involved a number of discussions on meeting the ageing population’s needs, including a talk by Catharine on Age-Friendly Outdoor Environments.
Lynne Mitchell addresses House of Lords Select Committee
As one of four experts on planning and design giving evidence to the Committee, Lynne addressed the question of whether enough is being done to make services userI-DGOfriendly for older people in the United Kingdom. The session focused on the role of both government and industry in addressing the needs of an ageing population and the way in which society perceives older consumers. It took place on the same day as the Committee heard evidence on the sustainability of current pensions and personal care funding models, with witnesses including Richard Humphries of The King’s Fund and Joanne Segars OBE of the National Association of Pension Funds.
I'DGO Director attends Design Council ageing forum
Held at the Design Council’s London headquarters, the event was chaired by Lord Best OBE, President of the Local Government Association and former Chair of the HAPPI Panel. Discussing age-friendly design with the audience of practitioners, researchers and policymakers were architect, Niall McLaughlin, Julie Fleck OBE, Principal Access Adviser at the Greater London Authority, and founder of Enabled by Design, Denise Stephens. The event involved a real-time social media blog, with one delegate tweeting "healthy ageing is active ageing - people need sunlight, nature and to get out and about".
Mary Craig celebrates European Year for Active Ageing
Hosted by the Welsh Government, the event was addressed by Carwyn Jones AM and Dr Ruth Hussey, Chief Medical Officer for Wales. It preceded the official closing ceremony for the European Year for Active Ageing 2012; in celebration of which I'DGO launched its latest research findings in Europe House in April. Other EY2012 events involving I'DGO include the World Congress of Active Ageing in Glasgow in August, while the project also features on the official EY2012 website, with links to our design guidance Read more about this event.
I'DGO returns to Scottish Older People’s Assembly
Research findings and new design guidance were presented at an exhibition stand manned by the project’s Communications and Policy Liaison specialists, Máire Cox and Mary Craig. The theme of the 2012 Assembly, supported by the Scottish Government, was Positive Ageing and Compassionate Caring. Facilitated by Gary Robertson of BBC Radio Scotland, it featured contributions by Alex Neil MSP, Dr Frances Elliot (Chief Executive of Healthcare Improvement Scotland) and Dr Rick Swindell (Griffith University, Australia), among others.
For further information about the Scottish Older People’s Assembly, including event webcasts, please click here
I'DGO Director at Canadian Association on Gerontology conference
As part of a symposium on Translating Research on the Built Environment to Policy & Practice, Catharine presented on how the quality of neighbourhood environments impacts on older people’s activity and quality of life. She was in Vancouver at the invitation of Dr Heather McKay, Director of the Centre for Hip Health and Mobility at the University of British Columbia, with whom I'DGO has maintained strong links since hosting a KT-EQUAL Anglo-Canadian study tour in March 2010. While in Canada, Catharine also caught up with Louise Plouffe, Anne Martin-Matthews and I'DGO international expert, Gloria Gutman, who features on the project’s promotional film.
To find out more about the CAG Annual Scientific and Educational Meeting, please click here
Rita Newton addresses Cross Party Group of National Assembly for Wales
Exploring how the built environment can affect the wellbeing and quality of life of older people, the presentation took place at the request of the Group’s Chair, Mike Hedges, AM for Swansea East. Held in Cardiff Bay, it was facilitated by Age Cymru and attended by around 30 invited representatives of key stakeholder groups, as well as members of the National Assembly. It took place one week after I'DGO was represented at Cardiff University’s Independent Living seminar held annually to mark UN International Older Person’s Day.
To read Age Cymru’s press release on the event, please click here
Catharine Ward Thompson attends Scottish placemaking workshop
Facilitated by the charity, Sniffer, the aim of the invited event was to bring together stakeholders involved in research, policy and practice on creating vibrant, resilient and sustainable communities. Focusing on the mechanisms, tools and processes needed to make truly collaborative placemaking happen, the workshop was held in the context of the Scottish Government’s developing new Policy on Architecture and Placemaking. During the consultation for this policy earlier in the summer, Catharine also took part in an invited Scottish Government forum on inclusive access to the built and environment.
For more information on Sniffer, please visit www.sniffer.org.uk
I'DGO talks impact for KT-EQUAL podcast
Also featuring I'DGO team members, Mary Craig and Máire Cox, the interview describes how I'DGO has achieved impact over its nine year lifespan, in policy, industry and with the public. Available as a podcast on the KT-EQUAL website, the recording is a training tool for academic researchers and their support teams who want to achieve ‘real world’change rooted in evidence. It includes advice on who to engage with, when and how, as well as examples of what I'DGO has achieved.
I'DGO participates in first National Dementia Design conference
Along with Dr Andrew Clark of Salford’s Centre for Social Research, Rita presented at the fourth of the one-day conference’s sessions, on the theme of ‘getting out and about: neighbourhoods as sites of support for people affected by dementia’. Her talk drew on both phases of Inclusive Design for Getting Outdoors, as well as earlier, dementia-focused work by I'DGO colleagues at the WISE research unit, University of Warwick. I'DGO also exhibited at the event, which culminated in the launch of the International Dementia Design Network.
For more conference details, please click here
I'DGO launches new design guidance at British Science Festival
At an event opened by Councillor George Adam, Lord Provost of Aberdeen City Council, the team launched new design guidance on tactile paving and revised editions of guidance on public seating and bus stops. Following an introduction to I'DGO by Professor Catharine Ward Thompson, the researchers were joined by Suzy Gentle of Age Scotland, Betty Milton of the City of Edinburgh Council and Rowena Statt of architectural practice, Anderson Bell Christie, for a debate chaired by Robin Harper. Joining in the discussion on Age-friendly places: does one size fit all? were audience members from local authorities, architectural practices, universities and the general public.
To read and download the new design guidance, please click here
I'DGO at the World Congress on Active Ageing
Researchers Angela Curl, Lynette Robertson and Professor Marcus Ormerod presented recent I'DGO findings at the event; the latter giving an invited lecture on ‘engaging environments for active ageing’ and chairing a session on the Impact of the Built and Natural Environment. I'DGO also had a stand in the exhibition hall and conducted, with partner Living Streets, a practical outdoors walk-shop on supportive environments for older people. The week-long congress included a symposium on new project Go Far, involving, among the team, three I'DGO researchers and Professor James Goodwin of Age UK.
For more information on the 8th World Congress on Active Ageing, please visit www.wcaa2012.com
Marcus Ormerod participates in BSI stakeholder forum
Hosted and facilitated by the British Standards Institute, the event was chaired by Graham Worsley of the Technology Strategy Board’s Special Interest Group, the Assisted Living Innovation Platform. Key items on the agenda included exploring standards priorities for enabling Assisted Living (AL) within UK Government policy and debating the need for new standards or solutions around innovative AL products and services. The event comes in the same month that I'DGO features in the annual Department of Health report to Parliament on current UK research and development projects in Assistive Technology.
For more details of the stakeholder forum, please click here
I'DGO profiled in Department of Health report to UK parliament
Featured in the ‘Active, older and included’ section of the publication (pages 39-44), the project was chosen to be detailed in depth, with information on the methods used, as well as preliminary findings (please note, the text predates our final report of April 2012). The review is based on a free online database managed by the Foundation for Assistive Technology (FAST), which highlights innovative technologies to support older and disabled people to maximise their independence. As well as 30 project profiles and a comprehensive listing section (of over 300 projects), it also includes details of the key policies, service reviews and service innovations relevant to the delivery of assistive technology services over the period April 2011 - March 2012.
I'DGO showcased on online transport advice portal
The four-page booklet summarises findings from both phases of the I'DGO project on older people’s mobility and wellbeing and provides key messages for policy makers and professionals, including those working in highways and transportation. The findings were recently launched at Europe House, the home of the European Parliament in the UK, at an event addressed by Baroness Greengross. In attendance were TAP collaborators, the Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation (CIHT) and Department for Transport (DfT); the latter being a valued I'DGO partner, together with the Institute of Highway Engineers, Mayer Brown, Sustrans and Phil Jones Associates.
To access the Transport Advice Portal, please click here.
I'DGO Director addresses 5th national active travel conference
Chaired by award-winning journalist and broadcaster, Louise Batchelor, the event was a collaboration between campaigning organisations Cycling Scotland and Paths for All, together with I'DGO partners Sustrans and Living Streets. Speaking in the plenary presentations on Inclusive Environments, Catharine focused on findings from both phases of Inclusive Design for Getting Outdoors, highlighting the role of the environment in supporting higher activity levels in older age. The event also incorporated the Carnegie Challenge Debate, which this year asked ‘Are our towns and cities for people?’ and featured, as panellists, Keith Brown MSP, David Sim, David Ubaka and John Pinkard.
For further information on Walking, Cycling, Connecting Communities, please click here.
I'DGO on the BBC
The interview, which is hosted on the Science and Environment News pages of the BBC website (see below), sits within a wider feature on the risks to health and wellbeing of reduced contact with nature. It follows extensive media coverage of I'DGO in recent months, including a walkalong interview hosted on the Health News page of the BBC website and pieces on BBC Radio Manchester and BBC Radio Scotland. Recent print articles include a half-page piece in The Herald newspaper (28th May), featuring a case study with Edinburgh resident, Violet Laidlaw.
To read Mark Kinver’s interview with Professor Catharine Ward Thompson, please click here, scrolling down to “stressful spaces”.
I'DGO completes UK parliamentary tour
The event in the Senedd, Cardiff, followed earlier receptions in Holyrood, Edinburgh and Stormont, Belfast; all held jointly with the knowledge exchange consortium, KTI-DGOEQUAL. Attracting a mix of delegates from government, industry and the not-for-profit sector, the events were addressed by leading politicians in each location: Ieuan Wyn Jones AM in Wales; Jackie Baillie MSP in Scotland; and Jonathan Bell MLA in Northern Ireland. The official launch of the research findings took place in April in the UK headquarters of the European Commission, London, addressed by Baroness Greengross.
To read and download the new I'DGO publication, drawing together headline findings from both phases of the project, please click here. To find out about the second phase of research, I'DGO TOO, in more detail, please click here.
I'DGO co-hosts Ending Isolation Through Design
Ending Isolation Through Design was held jointly with Age Scotland and Planning Aid for Scotland and attracted a full house of around 50 delegates, half of them from older people’s groups across Scotland. Showcasing Age Scotland’s ‘Walk in our Shoes’ toolkit, and opened by Sarah Boyack MSP, the event included presentations by the three host organisations, as well as Professor Dawn Skelton from Glasgow Caledonian University. It was followed by a reception in the Scottish Parliament to present the latest I'DGO research findings, hosted jointly with KT-EQUAL and opened by Jackie Baillie MSP.
To read the Age Scotland blog on Ending Isolation Through Design, please click here.
I'DGO TOO findings launched in Europe House
In celebration of the European Year for Active Ageing, the event was addressed by Baroness Greengross, crossbench member of the House of Lords and Chief Executive of the International Longevity Centre - UK, who described the research as phenomenally exciting for the development of places where we can bloom as people from when we are very young to very old. The morning session included a social networking Q&A, with followers discussing the headline findings via Twitter and LinkedIn, while the afternoon meeting was a chance to find out in more detail about methodology and new evidence. Delegates attended from industry, government, the research community and older people’s groups, including representatives from 12 I'DGO partners and our host, the European Commission.
To read and download the new I'DGO publication, drawing together headline findings from both phases of the project, please click here. To find out about the second phase of research, I'DGO TOO, in more detail, please click here.
Rita Newton returns to Kilburn, tackling ‘stressful streets’ with local residents
Once again jointly organised by the hosts, the British Society of Gerontology and the Kilburn Older Voices Exchange (KOVE), the event revisited the theme of tackling ‘stressful’ local streets through older residents’ evidence-led campaigning. As well as sharing progress from Inclusive Design for Getting Outdoors, Rita introduced participants to new research project, Go Far, and heard - in return - about headway on campaigns for more seating in public spaces and accessible toilets. The trip was combined with meetings with I'DGO partner, Age UK, as well as councillors and officers from the London Borough of Camden.
Catharine Ward Thompson talks Age Friendly Places with local government
Organised by LGID, the improvement and innovation branch of the Local Government Association, the event was part of the Ageing Well seminar series, which supports UK councils to develop good places to grow old. Reporting on first phase findings and second phase progress on Inclusive Design for Getting Outdoors, Catharine focused on the impact of the built environment on older people’s wellbeing and health. Other speakers addressing the audience of local authority members and officers included representatives from Age UK, Manchester City Council and Lewes District Seniors’ Forum.
For further information on the Ageing Well programme, please click here.
I'DGO cited as "significant source" in new governmental report on Lifetime Neighbourhoods
Described as "a very significant source of research and guidance", the project is referred to in detail in the chapters on Access (5) and Built and natural environments (7), most notably in the sections on ‘creating walkable environments’, ‘home zones and shared spaces’ and ‘greenspace’. Lifetime Neighbourhoods was commissioned by the DCLG to bring together examples from across the UK of ageing-in-place concepts taken forward in recent years and was researched by the Centre for Housing Policy at the University of York. As well as findings, guidance and progress from both phases of I'DGO, the report also cites earlier EPSRC-funded research by consortium member, WISE.
To read and download Lifetime Neighbourhoods, please click here.
I'DGO talks tactile paving at Streets & Public Realm Network debate
Organised by the training, advice and advocacy body, Urban Design London, the event was one in a regular series of ‘tricky issue’ debates held for its Streets & Public Realm Network. With a specific emphasis on blister tactile paving, panellists debated "what works, what doesn’t, and how best to take forward support for those with site impairments whist respecting London’s public environment". Experts responding to the questions included Professor Peter Barker OBE of the University of Reading, Sue Sharp of the Royal London Society for Blind People and Edmund Bird of English Heritage, one of I'DGO’s supporting network of 37 partners.
For further information on the Urban Design London event, please click here.
WISE research paper published in BMC Public Health
Entitled ‘Good places for ageing in place’, and authored by Professor Elizabeth Burton, Dr Lynne Mitchell and Dr Chris Stride, the paper charts the ‘development of objective built environment measures for investigating links with older people’s wellbeing’. It describes how I'DGO researchers developed, piloted and refined a NeDeCC (Neighbourhood Design Characteristics Checklist) tool and, through interviews with 200 older people, identified and measured a range of place-related wellbeing constructs; ultimately identifying significant bivariate relationships between the two. The conclusion that it may be worthwhile to question some of the assumptions about where and how older people want to live led to the current I'DGO study ‘Go Gardens Matter?’
To read ‘Good places for ageing in place: development of objective built environment measures for investigating links with older people’s wellbeing’, please click here.
SURFACE researchers attend older people and sight loss workshop
Co-hosted by the Thomas Pocklington Trust and the College of Occupational Therapists Specialist Section for Older People, the event was held as part of a thriving programme of practical workshops run by the knowledge transfer group, KT-EQUAL, of which I'DGO is a core member. Delegates heard from a service user outlining ‘what I need and what helps’, as well as academic researchers, occupational therapists and not-for-profit organisations, including the Royal National Institute for the Blind (RNIB) and Vision 2020 UK. The event was also a chance to catch up with Dr Dawn Skelton, external advisor to Inclusive Design for Getting Outdoors and partner in new research project, Going Outdoors: Falls, Ageing & Resilience (Go Far).
For the full programme of the KT-EQUAL event on older people and sight loss, please click here.
I'DGO research presented at global conference on ageing
Themed ‘Planning All Our Futures’, the event was attended by 370 delegates from the world’s leading gerontological research centres and not-for-profit organisations, as well as health and social care providers and policy makers. Speaking in a session on Housing, Technology and Living Environments, chaired by Dr Brendan Murtagh of Queen’s University Belfast, Máire presented findings from the first phase of Inclusive Design for Getting Outdoors, during which 200 older people were asked about their experiences of, and preference for, the design of streets and neighbourhoods. Máire also spoke at a symposium on translating evidence into policy and practice alongside KT-EQUAL colleagues, Professors Rachel McCrindle and Peter Lansley.
For further information about CARDI (Centre for Ageing Research and Development in Ireland), please click here.
I'DGO research cited in national guidance on shared space
LTN 1/11, which can be freely downloaded from the DFT website, is a roads and road management tool for planners and highway engineers and deals specifically with ‘shared space’. The guidance aims to reduce the dominance of motorised vehicles in high street environments and prioritises the needs of pedestrians, placing particular emphasis on stakeholder engagement and inclusive design. I'DGO was consulted on the Note by invitation, influenced many of the points made and is cited directly in the guidance on seat design (Part 6; Detailed design).
To read and download the LTN on shared space from the UK Department for Transport website, please click here.
Marcus Ormerod briefs Scottish Occupational Therapists on sensory impairment and inclusive design
The event, entitled Sensing an Opportunity, was the ninth in a series of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) workshops for the group, who share an interest in the impact of housing on occupational therapy. The programme focused on the needs of service users with a sensory impairment and included a tour of the Forth Valley Sensory Centre, where the event took place. Marcus shared findings from the first phase of Inclusive Design for Getting Outdoors (I'DGO), as well as progress from the second phase and new research project, Go Far.
For further information about the College of Occupational Therapists Specialist Section on Housing (COTSS-Housing), please click here.
Catharine Ward Thompson presents at PACTS conference on transport and ageing
Entitled ‘Older, Wiser, Safer: the challenge of an Ageing Population’, the event took place at the Royal Society of Medicine in London and was opened by Baroness Greengross. Around 60 delegates attended the conference, which brought together local authority officers, transport planning professionals, researchers, standards agencies and not-for-profit organisations, each with an interest in the safe mobility of older people. Catharine’s talk was on Outdoor Environments for Older Citizens, drawing on current I'DGO research into pedestrian-friendly neighbourhoods and her membership of the knowledge transfer group, KT-EQUAL.
To find out more about PACTS, please click here.
I'DGO showcased at Scottish Older People’s Assembly
Publications, presentations and a short film about the project were presented at an exhibition stand manned by the project’s Communicator, Máire Cox. The Assembly, supported by the Scottish Government, was organised around issues of current concern to older people and featured keynote speeches by Nicola Sturgeon MSP (Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Health, Wellbeing and Cities) and Steve Webb MP (Minister of State for Pensions). For Máire, it was also a chance to catch up with a number of the older people who have been involved with I'DGO communications, including Joan Turner and Violet Laidlaw, both of whom spoke at the event.
For further information about the Scottish Older People’s Assembly, including event webcasts, please click here.
I'DGO on Towns and Cities for All
The library currently hosts over 700 resources (in ten languages) on inclusive/universal design, from examples of good practice, to films, web-links, press articles and other documents. It is hosted by the Design for All Foundation based in Barcelona, which invites anyone interested in this area to upload material, including representatives from the public, private and not-for-profit sectors. The I'DGO material currently downloadable from the library includes the trio of ‘mid-term’ publications detailing progress on the project’s current studies and the six minute film about the consortium, which premiered at Open Space : People Space 3 in June 2011.
To access the multimedia library on the Design for All Foundation website, please click here.
I'DGO PI addresses sixth international design research congress
Themed ‘An Agenda for Design,’ the event was organised by the Technical University of Lisbon’s Center for Research in Architecture, Urban Planning and Design (CIAUD).One of six guest speakers, Marcus presented on the subject of Inclusive Design and Social Sustainability, a relatively new area for the Congress, which has successfully diversified beyond Communication, Product and Fashion design to address Urbanity, Accessibility and Ergonomics. Lisbon was the first ever European venue for the three-day event, which previously took place in Brazil.
For further information about CIPED VI, please click here (toggle between English and Portuguese in top-left-hand corner of homepage).
I'DGO forges links with European research project on older road users
The project is led by Southend on Sea Borough Council, which has recently implemented recommendations from the first phase of Inclusive Design for Getting Outdoors (I'DGO) on wayfinding in the town centre. It also involves Lancashire County Council, IFSTAR in France, The Technical University of Dresden in Germany and the local councils of Modena (Italy) and Burgos (Spain). Through the establishment of a sound evidence base, and a co-ordinated EU action plan, its aim is to help local authorities throughout Europe reduce the risk of collisions involving older people.
For further information about SaMERU, please click here.
I'DGO welcomes publication of Bishop Review
Published by The Design Council Cabe, a new body incorporating I'DGO partner, the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment, the Review addresses how good architectural, landscape and urban design can be achieved within a national agenda focused on the UK’s long term economic prosperity and the devolution of power to local communities. I'DGO particularly welcomes the suggestion that "Inclusive Design should be made an explicit requirement in the NPPF (National Planning Policy Framework)… and included in the definition of sustainable development", as per the points made in the consortium’s 2010, KT-EQUAL workshop, A Built Environment for All Ages. I'DGO researcher, Dr Lynne Mitchell, was one of over 400 people consulted on the Review, through an online questionnaire, roundtable discussions and workshops.
To learn more about the Bishop Review, and download the report in full, please click here.
I'DGO welcomes Angela Curl to the research team
Angela, who this month presents at the annual RGS-IBG International Conference in London, is currently completing her thesis on ‘Comparing the lived experience to objective measures of Accessibility’ at the University of Aberdeen. Based at the OPENspace research centre in Edinburgh, she joins the team working on pedestrian-friendly neighbourhoods; exploring the longitudinal effects, on older people, of living in shared space streets. The project is in the final stages of data collection and analysis and, along with the two other current I'DGO studies, is due to report in April 2012, in celebration of the European Year for Active Ageing.
Marcus Ormerod addresses Nordic Network of researchers in inclusive design
Organised by the Nordic Network on Architectural Research in Design-for-all, the event looked at the interrelations between research and teaching in inclusive/universal design. One of three keynote speakers, Marcus touched on his experiences of both delivering components of The University of Salford’s Accessibility and Inclusive Design programme and being a Principal Investigator on projects such as Inclusive Design for Getting Outdoors (I'DGO). The seminar, which comprised both plenary sessions and workshops, was sponsored by the Norwegian National Office of Building Technology and Administration and the Norwegian Ministry of Children, Equality and Social Inclusion.
I'DGO in media spotlight at British Science Festival
Researcher, Rita Newton, was interviewed on two primetime BBC radio shows - Beswick at Breakfast in Manchester and Newsdrive in Scotland - and participated in a three-way interview with Science Correspondent, Matt McGrath, and an older pedestrian, Mavis Crosley, for an audio feature on the main BBC website. The theme of the festival for I'DGO was the walkability of urban neighbourhoods, explored through a field trip and debate with Professors Marcus Ormerod and Catharine Ward Thompson. There was particular press interest in the impact of street clutter on older pedestrians and the relationship between pavement quality and falls.
To listen to the BBC audio feature, Street clutter enhances problems for elderly, please visit http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-14902884
Rita Newton takes part in 40th annual British Society of Gerontology conference
Organised around the theme of Understanding and Promoting the Value of Older Age, the conference was held over three days at the University of Plymouth; hosted by its Faculty of Health. As well as presenting two papers, including one on the first phase of Inclusive Design for Getting Outdoors (for which she was a Principal Investigator), Rita co-presented a workshop with the Director of the knowledge exchange group, KT-EQUAL. During the session she showed the new film on I'’DGO, which was made by Adam Barnett and Dominika Švecová and premiered in Edinburgh last month.
For further information about the BSG conference, please visit www.bsg2011plymouth.org.uk
I'DGO represented at inaugural Sustainable Intelligent Manufacturing conference in Lisbon
The three-day event was organised by the Centre for Rapid and Sustainable Product Development (CDRSP) and held at its host institution, the Polytechnic Institute of Leiria. Rita’s presentation formed part of a dedicated one-day symposium on Inclusive Design - Designing and Manufacturing for the Individual - which was co-convened by Professor Peter Lansley of the knowledge exchange group, KT-EQUAL. Drawing on research undertaken with 200 older participants during the first phase of I'DGO, Rita addressed the challenge of designing streets within a ‘real world’ environment, making them work for everyone - not just the fit and able pedestrian.
To find out more about SIM2011, please visit www.sim.ipleiria.pt
I'DGO cited by Age UK in Pride of Place campaign
The Pride of Place campaign is aimed at councillors throughout the UK; raising awareness of how they can improve neighbourhoods for older people through a three-fold commitment to listening, making change happen and keeping up momentum. I'DGO welcomes the emphasis in the launch publication on why getting outdoors matters to older people and the currency it places on ensuring that the quality of streets and neighbourhoods is upheld. We are also delighted to see specific mention of the need for providing safe and easy access to meeting places and green spaces and of the importance of enabling features, such as seating and public toilets, in streets and neighbourhoods.
I'DGO hosts third international Open Space : People Space conference
Marking the final stages of Inclusive Design for Getting Outdoors, the event also celebrated the tenth anniversary of the OPENspace research centre, led by Professor Catharine Ward Thompson. All three I'DGO TOO Principal Investigators, plus first phase PI, Rita Newton, presented keynote papers at the event, which attracted 120 delegates from 20 countries. Highlights included keynotes by Marketta Kyttä (Finland), David Rudlin (UK), Rob Methorst (The Netherlands) and William Sullivan (USA), as well as 64 presentations, four workshops and an exhibition of 50 posters.
I'DGO film launched at international conference on the inclusive design of outdoor environments
Made by film makers, Adam Barnett and Dominika Švecová, the film features ‘real world’ footage of older people outdoors in the cities of Edinburgh, Salford, London and Manchester. The narrative is woven around a conversation between the three I'DGO Principal Investigators and incorporates words of support from project partners Mark Butt (Mayer Brown), James Goodwin (Age UK), Rob Shaw (Health and Safety Laboratory) and David Sinclair (International Longevity Centre - UK), as well as international advisor to the project, Professor Gloria Gutman. In the week after Open Space : People Space 3, it was shown for three days on the Age UK exhibition stand at the 40th annual British Society of Gerontology conference in Plymouth, as well as at a KT-EQUAL workshop at the same event.
I'DGO Director addresses Canadian Age Friendly Communities meeting
Led by the Public Health Agency of Canada, and involving the CIHR - Institute of Aging and the Canadian Association on Gerontology, the aims of the AFC programme are to ‘engage older Canadians in making their communities better, healthier and safer places for seniors to live and thrive’. Catharine’s particular contribution to the agenda was to present on translating research evidence into practice, drawing on her considerable successes in this area with Inclusive Design for Getting Outdoors. The trip was also a chance to catch up with the scientists hosted in Edinburgh by I'DGO last year, specifically to hear about the collaborative Walk the Talk project, which focuses on ‘transforming the built environment to enhance mobility in seniors’.
I'DGO Director speaks at ‘age friendly cities’ workshop
Hosted jointly by I'DGO and the BusinessLab research project, ActiveAge, the event was supported by the knowledge exchange group, KT-EQUAL, of which Professor Ward Thompson is a Co-investigator. Speaking after Gregor Rae, founding Chairman of BusinessLab, opened the event, Catharine touched on the challenges of implementing a built environment for all ages; a key aim of age friendly cities and regions. I'DGO also facilitated a break-out session at the event, ‘how age friendly research can be of practical value to the community’, drawing on the project’s significant impact on policy making and design guidance.
For further information about ‘The competitive advantage of age friendly cities’, please click here
I'DGO presents at Ageing and the Life Course workshop on outdoor spaces
The event was the third in a series organised by the Research Programme on Ageing and the Life Course led by the University of Bristol. It explored how access to, and activities in, ‘supportive’ outdoor environments could enhance the physical health, mental wellbeing and social integration of older people, leading to an improved quality of life. Joining Catharine were Professor Sian Maslin-Prothero of Keele University and Paul Millar and Professor Graham Parkhurst, both of the University of the West of England.
To find out more about the Research Programme on Ageing and the Life Course, please click here
Catharine Ward Thompson participates in MRAO Advisory Group meeting
Funded by the Lifelong Health and Wellbeing programme, led by the Medical Research Council, the MRAO project aims to facilitate self-assessment by older people across health, social, environmental and financial domains and, as a result, to enhance localised, cross-sector service provision. Prof Ward Thompson is one of 18 members of the Advisory Group, which meets bi-annually to support researchers from University College London and the University of Hertfordshire. Their role is to help assess the feasibility and costs of locally adapting/embedding the MRAO system in two pilot sites: one in the London Borough of Ealing; and one in Hertfordshire.
I'DGO Director presents at annual EDRA conference in Chicago
The four-day event brought together international researchers in behavior and design, all working towards an improved understanding of the relationships between people and their environments. As well as presenting progress on Inclusive Design for Getting Outdoors (I'DGO), Catharine chaired a symposium on Open Space and Mental Health, involving researchers from the UK, Denmark and the USA. She also contributed to a session on Open Space and Social Health, looking in detail at the environmental features of streets and their association with social interaction.
For further information on the Environmental Design Research Association (EDRA), please click here.
Catharine Ward Thompson completes invited tour of Icelandic open space programmes
Having guest critiqued studio presentations on ‘architecture and nature’, an IAA programme run by Landscape Architect, Kristin Thorleifsdottir, Catharine met with the Directors of the Reykjavík Planning Department and the IAA to discuss the establishment of a new urban open space research unit. The visit continued with a public presentation by Catharine on her work at OPENspace and I'DGO and a contribution to a half-day conference on Sustainable Architecture and Planning at the Alvar Aalto building, Nordic House. While in Iceland, Catharine also spoke, via video link, at a conference in Wales hosted by Judith Phillips, Professor of Gerontology and Social Work at Swansea University.
Catharine Ward Thompson attends final conference of landmark EU research project
Hosted by the European Union Committee of the Regions in Brussels, the event addressed the challenge of making urban mobility greener while improving the quality of life of older people. Featuring a panel discussion with members of the European Parliament and representatives of the European Commission, it was aimed at local, national and international policy makers - the key audiences for AENEAS research - as well as delegates from industry, academia and the not-for-profit sector. Catharine was delighted to catch up with members of the research team whom she first met while presenting at an AENEAS workshop in Donostia - San Sebastián in 2009; her presentation having subsequently been rated as the “best and most useful” in the project’s history.
For further information about AENEAS, please visit www.aeneas-project.eu
I'DGO team members in successful consortium bid to research falls, ageing and resilience
Go Far (Going Outdoors: Falls, Ageing & Resilience) will be a year-long project linking into Lifelong Health and Wellbeing (LLHW): a major cross-council initiative supporting research into healthy ageing and wellbeing in later life. It will draw together the work of seven research centres, including SURFACE and OPENspace, building on existing findings from both phases of Inclusive Design for Getting Outdoors, as well as other research projects. It will explore older people’s perceptions on - and experiences of - falling and develop innovative techniques to evaluate the relationship between the person who falls and the outdoor environment.
I'DGO Advisory Group meets to discuss national launch event
Following presentations by senior researchers from the WISE, OPENspace and SURFACE teams, the group discussed how best to promote the evidence base to a diverse set of audiences, including policy makers, the media, professionals and service users. The meeting preceded a regular assembly of the Academic Management Group and involved an enthusiastic and proactive delegation including representatives of Age UK, the Department for Transport, Sustrans, Guide Dogs and new I'DGO partner, A Luck Associates (a road safety and highway risk management consultancy). It is anticipated that a national launch of I'DGO TOO findings will take place in early 2012, the European Year for Active Ageing.
Elizabeth Burton presents at invited Westminster symposium on ageing in urban areas
Speaking on the second morning of the two-day event in Westminster, London, Libby addressed the social and design issues involved in developing sustainable communities. Among the 60 delegates in attendance were fellow I'DGO PI, Professor Marcus Ormerod, and I'DGO Senior Research Fellow, Dr Lynne Mitchell. The event was designed to enhance knowledge exchange and networking between international researchers and urbanists and was jointly organised by the Economic and Social Research Council, the Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science and I'DGO partner, the International Longevity Centre (Tokyo/London).
For more information on this event, please visit http://www.ilcuk.org.uk/record.jsp?type=event&ID=77
Rita Newton addresses transportation professionals at major industry event
Speaking on the second morning of the three-day event in the National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham, Rita addressed delegates on the Design of Streets with Older People in Mind, drawing on the SURFACE element of Inclusive Design for Getting Outdoors (I'DGO). The seminar built on earlier presentations by Rita and I'DGO colleagues in connection with launching Manual for Streets 2 to CIHT members in autumn 2011, as well as fellow seminar-sponsors, Department for Transport. In total, Traffex attracted over 9,000 visitors to the NEC, including delegates from the public and private sectors.
For further information about Traffex, please visit www.traffex.com
I'DGO hosts interactive session at ‘enablement’ knowledge exchange event
Designed to showcase both innovative Scottish enablement programmes and recent research findings, the event attracted over 60 delegates from academia, Local Authorities and the NHS. Following a presentation by Dr Margaret Whoriskey on the Scottish Government’s 10 year framework, Reshaping Care for Older People, the group considered findings from a review of interventions in primary care or community settings, specifically those that prevent or delay disablement in older people. Speaking during the afternoon session, Máire Cox introduced two groups of delegates to the findings and design guidance from the first phase of I'DGO research and the aims and progress of I'DGO TOO.
I'DGO welcomes its international review panel to Edinburgh for three-day multi-disciplinary event
Respected worldwide for expertise in their fields, the group comprised Gloria Gutman (Canada; gerontology), James A Ashton-Miller (USA; biomechanics), Dawn Skelton (UK; healthcare), Brian R Little (UK/Canada; psychology) and Rob Methorst (The Netherlands; pedestrian needs). As well as discussing the findings from I'DGO’s three current research studies - collectively known as I'DGO TOO - the group considered the promotion and usage of the evidence; reflecting on its impact on policy makers, practitioners and older people themselves. The seminar on the third day of the visit was hosted by I'DGO on behalf of KT-EQUAL and included a ‘meet the experts’ round-table discussion for around 50 delegates.
For more information on the free public seminar, including a programme and speakers’ biographies, please visit
I'DGO talks street design with older London pedestrians
Entitled ‘Caught Short on the Stressful Streets?’, the event was jointly organised by the British Society of Gerontology, the Kilburn Older Voices Exchange (KOVE) and the Kingsgate Resource Centre, members of which made up the audience of around 60 delegates. Linking through to KOVE’s campaigning work on public toilets, community seating, safe, accessible pavements and road crossings, Rita’s presentation focused on findings from both phases of Inclusive Design for Getting Outdoors, including the current SURFACE research on tactile paving and its implications for older people. Delegates also had the opportunity to hear from Jo-Anne Bichard of the Helen Hamlyn Research Centre (Royal College of Art, London), as well as Local Authority planners from the London Borough of Camden.
I'DGO researcher presents at 11th international conference on Environmental Psychology
Organised by the Faculty of Psychology in the city’s university - the Universidad de Almería - the conference was the 11th in an ongoing international programme and attracted around 100 delegates over four days. Susana’s presentation, delivered in both Spanish and Portuguese, drew upon her involvement in Inclusive Design for Getting Outdoors, looking in particular at older pedestrians’ access to outdoor environments in deprived urban areas. In addition, one of her posters focused on pedestrian activities in the UK’s residential streets; again drawing on emerging I'DGO findings.
For more information on the conference, please visit http://www.congresopsicologiaambiental.es, though please bear in mind that text is in Spanish only.
Catharine Ward Thompson addresses the Countryside Recreation Network
Themed ‘The way forward in light of the priorities of the UK Government’, the event explored the future of the CRN in the context of the Big Society and ‘localism’ agendas. It was hosted by Natural England and the Peak District National Park and attended by representatives from the Forestry Commission, Scottish Natural Heritage, Sport Northern Ireland, the Countryside Council for Wales and British Waterways, among others. Speaking on the theme of Health and Access to the Outdoor Environment, Catharine was one of three experts invited to address the group during the two-day event.
To find out more about the Countryside Recreation Network, please visit http://www.countrysiderecreation.org.uk
CIHT invites I'DGO to help roll-out national design guidance
I'DGO researcher, Rita Newton, has spoken to an audience of over 100 delegates at two events: the Yorkshire & Humberside Branch launch on 28th January in York; and the North Western Branch launch in Bolton on 25th November. MfS2 demonstrates how placemaking principles published in 2007 for residential streets can be applied to broader urban and rural contexts. Rita’s talk on ‘The Design of Streets with Older People in Mind’ was one of two presentations on inclusive design in the programme, the other being dedicated to ‘share space’.
To view and download Rita’s PowerPoint presentation from the seminars, please visit http://www.aldercross.com/resources/Rita+Newton.pdf.
I'DGO team at Scottish Parliament for BEFS reception
Held on 26th January, the event was a chance to hear about BEFS’ plans for the coming year, as well as to meet Members of the Scottish Parliament, friends, volunteers and other supporters ahead of the upcoming Scottish Parliamentary Elections. The keynote speech was delivered by prominent Scottish journalist Magnus Linklater FRS, following an opening address by Robin Harper MSP. The latter opened I'DGO’s Built Environment for All Ages workshop in March 2010, drawing on his cross-party work in Architecture and the Built Environment and Older People, Age and Ageing.
To find out more about the Built Environment Forum Scotland (BEFS), please visit www.befs.co.uk
WISE expert on dementia speaks at KT-EQUAL workshop
The event was hosted by the KT-EQUAL consortium - a knowledge transfer vehicle supported by I'DGO - at St Mary’s Conference Centre, Sheffield and brought together international-calibre researchers, practitioners working in dementia care, people with dementia and their carers. Lynne has worked with dementia issues since her days as a care home assistant in the mid-1970s and has a PhD from Oxford Brookes University in dementia-friendly design. Together with Professor Elizabeth Burton, she developed the concept of Neighbourhoods for Life under the second phase of EQUAL funding, prior to the establishment of Inclusive Design for Getting Outdoors.
To find out more about this event, please visit
I'DGO Director participates in first meeting of new NIHR speciality group
Hosted by the University of Edinburgh, with support from NHS Lothian, the event focused on ageing research priorities, its impact on older participants, gaps in evidence and turning ideas into successful research collaborations. Speaking about the issue of falls at the event was I'DGO expert advisor, Dr Dawn Skelton, Reader in Ageing and Health at Glasgow Caledonian University. Dawn and Catharine come together again in February 2011 at the I'DGO hosted KT-EQUAL workshop, An International Perspective on the Built Environment for an Ageing Population.
For more information about NIHR National Speciality Groups in Age and Ageing, please visit http://www.crncc.nihr.ac.uk/about_us/ccrn/specialty/age_ageing.
To register for An International Perspective on the Built Environment for an Ageing Population, please visit http://kt-equal.org.uk/calendar/56/28-An-international-perspective-on-the-Built-Environment-for-an-Ageing-Population-Issues-in-maintaining-access-to-outdoor-places
Marcus Ormerod debates ‘tackling social exclusion’ at major national conference
Talking about creating accessible communities, independent living and the potential of the built environment to facilitate care, Marcus was joined by Nigel Dotchin, Head of Equalities Policy at the Department for Transport, and Colm Cunningham, Director of Operations at The Dementia Services Development Centre. Attracting upwards of 60 delegates, the event aimed to raise awareness of current policy moves towards the localisation and personalisation of services, as well as inclusive best practice. Excellent feedback was received from delegates of all backgrounds, including local authorities, housing providers, the health service and the voluntary sector.
WISE Director opens ILC debate with presentation of I'DGO findings
Prior to speeches by panellists including Sue Adams (Care and Repair England) and Gemma Bradshaw (Age UK), Elizabeth presented evidence from the first phase of I'DGO and preliminary findings from I'DGO TOO. Responding to recent policy moves towards the decentralisation of service provision, the debate explored the potential for delivering lifetime homes and neighbourhoods under a devolved decision making process (‘localism’). Held on 29th November 2010 in central London, it was hosted by Arup and supported by Anchor and Audley.
To find out more about this event, please visit http://www.ilcuk.org.uk/record.jsp?type=event&ID=72
I'DGO Principal Investigator takes leading role at Qualitative Research Methods workshop
Organised by the knowledge transfer consortium, KT-EQUAL, the Qualitative Research Methods workshop was hosted by the Loughborough Design School on 25th November 2010. Marcus spoke to delegates interested in working with older people or people with a disability about best practice in engagement with users; discussing tools such as semi-structured interviews, focus groups, observational studies and innovative participatory methods. Sharing the platform with researchers from Loughborough, Leeds and Brunel universities, he drew on his experience in a number of research projects, most notably Inclusive Design for Getting Outdoors.
To view and download Marcus’s presentation from the workshop, and to read more about the event,
please visit http://kt-equal.org.uk/calendar/57/22-Qualitative-research-methods
I'DGO assists CIHT in regional roll-out of national design guidance
I'DGO researcher, Rita Newton, spoke to an audience of over 80 delegates at the North Western Branch launch in Bolton on 25th November and will be presenting again to the Yorkshire & Humberside Branch on 28th January 2011 in York. MfS2 demonstrates how placemaking principles published in 2007 for residential streets can be applied to broader urban and rural contexts. Rita’s talk on ‘The Design of Streets with Older People in Mind’ is one of two presentations on inclusive design in the programme, the other being dedicated to ‘share space’.
To view and download Rita’s PowerPoint presentation from the North Western Branch seminar, please visit http://www.aldercross.com/resources/Rita+Newton.pdf.
To register for the Yorkshire & Humberside event, please visit http://www.aldercross.com/mfs2.html
I'DGO Advisory Group meets to discuss preliminary findings
Following presentations by senior researchers from the WISE, OPENspace and SURFACE teams, the group discussed the implications of the research for their own professional activities and potential future work streams. The meeting followed a regular assembly of the Academic Management Group and involved an enthusiastic and proactive delegation including representatives of the International Longevity Centre, Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment, Department for Transport, Sustrans, Guide Dogs and Mayer Brown, as well as the host organisation, the Royal National Institute for the Blind. I'DGO was also delighted to welcome its Portfolio Manager from the project’s funding body, the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.
WISE researcher presents at UK conferences while work continues on ROS study
Drawing on earlier EQUAL-funded research on Designing Dementia-Friendly Outdoor Environments, as well as Inclusive Design for Getting Outdoors, Lynne spoke at the 5th UK Dementia Congress in Bournemouth on 11th November, appraising recent changes in approaches to the design of care settings and exploring particular design features, both helpful and unhelpful. The following day, Lynne was in Cardiff for the COTSS annual conference; the 17th meeting of the Housing Specialist Section of the College of Occupational Therapists. Her presentation on the implications of high-density urban housing for residential outdoor space was tailored towards the overall theme: Let’s Get Personal - Enabling Choice and Control through Housing.
For information on the Dementia Congress, please visit http://www.careinfo.org/uk-dementia-congress.php.
For information on the COTSS conference, please visit http://www.cot.co.uk/Homepage/Specialist_Sections/COTSS_-_Housing/Conference/
I'DGO researcher returns from RSE-funded European study visit
Susana, who is currently analysing data from the ‘after’ phase of I'DGO’s ‘pedestrian-friendly neighbourhoods’ study, was funded by a small Arts & Humanities grant from the Royal Society of Edinburgh, enabling her to visit two leading research centres. First on her itinerary was the Center for Inter-University Research on Environmental Psychology (CIRPA) in Rome, where she shared findings with academics interested in the concept of environmental support for outdoor spaces, with a view to future collaboration. The second part of her trip was hosted by the Universidad da Coruña (UDC), where Susana presented to students and peers from the Department of Environmental Psychology.
SURFACE takes I'DGO to Japan as part of international conference on universal design
The five-day event in Hamamatsu was themed ‘For the People and the Earth of Tomorrow: Towards a Sustainable Co-existence’ and was hosted by the International Association for Universal Design (IAUD), based in Yokohama. Presenting evidence from the first phase of I'DGO, as well as its theoretical background and research methodologies, Rita and Marcus spoke about the practical challenges of ‘Creating Supportive Neighbourhood Environments for Older People’. In total, the conference attracted around 12,000 delegates from thirty countries and included a ‘48 Hour Marathon for Universal Design’: a competitive user-interactive event producing supportive designs for Hamamatsu itself.
I'DGO Director presents at KT-EQUAL physical activity workshop
Hosted by Dr Afroditi Stathi of the University of Bath, ‘Physical Activity Promotion: Blending policy, research and practice’ was a one-day event exploring shared opportunities to champion active ageing. The morning session focused on dissemination of research findings, including outputs from surveys and promotion schemes (both national and local), as well as academic projects such as Inclusive Design for Getting Outdoors. The afternoon session - which included break-out discussions - looked at how this evidence could be fed into practice, primarily through activity promotion programmes involving local authorities, primary care trusts, charities and the fitness industry.
I'DGO partakes in invited cross-disciplinary workshop on ageing and the built environment
Feeding into the cross-council priority programme, Lifelong Health and Wellbeing, the event explored links between aspects of older people’s quality of life and the neighbourhoods they live in, discussing issues such as keeping active within the community, maintaining independence and sustaining good mental health. With the key aim of facilitating closer alignment between researchers, practitioners and policy makers, the workshop involved around 25 academics and an equal number of delegates from local government. The format was mostly based on group discussions around the strengths and weaknesses of current research and the mechanisms for successful translation into positive policies and practices.
SURFACE welcomes multi-disciplinary Chinese delegation on UK fact-finding mission
The visit involved 11 leading academics, industry professionals and policymakers drawn together by the Chinese Housing Ministry and Tsinghua University, as well as senior members of the Salford team and UK visitors from the Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists. Marcus and Rita appraised delegates of current trends and innovations in UK research into accessibility, with particular emphasis on Inclusive Design for Getting Outdoors. Much interest was shown in the tactile paving element of the project, which involves both ‘real world’ and laboratory-based research.
I'DGO helps launch national placemaking design guidance
Supported by the UK Department for Transport, the new guidelines take the principles set out in the original MfS (published in 2007 for residential streets) and demonstrate how they can be applied to broader urban and rural contexts. The conference series began with a sell-out event in London on 29th September and took in Birmingham, Durham and Cardiff events on the 5th, 12th and 19th of October respectively. Continuing the national theme of ‘the design of streets with older people in mind’, I'DGO is also participating in a related regional event in Bolton on 25th November.
To view and download I'DGO’s PowerPoint presentation from the conference series, please click here (pdf download), 2.4MB.
I'DGO celebrates International Day of Older Persons
The day comes at the end of a busy week for the consortium, with team members presenting at events in London and Manchester, meeting with the Greater London Authority and exhibiting at the UK Age Research Forum and Living Streets conferences. I'DGO fully subscribes to the principles behind the International Day, which addresses the independence, participation, care, self-fulfillment and dignity of older persons. Events planned for the remainder of October include Ageing Well in the Built Environment, which seeks to address such principles through inclusive design policy and research.
I'DGO Director joins new Scottish Government evaluation group
Known as the ‘Good Places, Better Health Evaluation Group’, the team will meet for the first time on Friday 1st October in Edinburgh, chaired by Dr Lesley Wilkie, Director of Public Health and Planning at NHS Grampian. The remit of ‘Good Places, Better Health’ team members will be to provide strategic thinking on environment and health, assess the evidence on links between the two and make policy recommendations on the salutogenic potential of place. Supporting a governmental implementation plan for ‘A New Approach to the Environment and Health in Scotland’, their work will feed into that of the Chief Medical Officer and Public Health Directorate and be of local, regional and national importance.
For further information, please visit http://tinyurl.com/3yr6ubw
I'DGO presents at Manchester City Council age-friendly workshop
Entitled ‘Age-Inclusive Design and the Built Environment’, the event was supported by the Beth Johnson Foundation and Manchester School of Architecture and was attended by around 50 professionals from government, academia and industry. Delegates explored how the Manchester cityscape could support people of all ages through collaborative working between social policy makers and urban designers, in line with the city’s 10-year strategy for Valuing Older People.
Proceedings will feed into ‘Age-Friendly Facing the Future’ - a one-day seminar in Manchester on Monday 1st November 2010 (see http://www.manchester.gov.uk/vop).
Rita Newton talks housing and communities with Norfolk & Suffolk planners
As part of a facilitated workshop, Rita spoke to officers, elected councillors and industry professionals on the theme of ‘Planning New Housing and Communities for Older People’. The event was led by Lewis Herbert of Anglia Ruskin University and also featured Ann Hockey, the university’s Senior Lecturer & Pathway Leader for Town Planning. Future events in the programme will involve Professor Judith Phillips of Swansea University, one of the speakers from I'DGO’s Anglo-Canadian knowledge transfer event, hosted on behalf of KT-EQUAL.
For further information, please visit http://tinyurl.com/32z5qm2
SURFACE returns to Dublin for Shared Spaces Seminar
She was one of six speakers at the Shared Spaces Seminar 2010 delivered by the Centre for Excellence in Universal Design (CEUD) on Monday 6th September. The event at Engineers Ireland was attended by 130 professionals and advocates interested in the potential (and challenges) that shared spaces have to offer in the urban environment. Joining Rita on the podium was Mark Butt of I'DGO partner, Mayer Brown, who followed her presentation on “Streets for Life” with his introduction to “Defining the space”.
For further information, please visit http://tinyurl.com/2uldmj3
I'DGO featured in major new report on socio-economic implications of ageing.
Dedicated to research into ageing, and how it supports effective policy making, the report is partnered by AgeUK and the British Society of Gerontology. Set within the context of recently announced tax changes and public expenditure reductions, the case studies illustrate the growing evidence base on the socio-economic challenges of ageing and how policy can redress wide discrepancies in life expectation, income and health. Launched at a ministerial event on Tuesday 20th July 2010, Making the Case... acknowledges the impact of the built environment on wellbeing and I'DGO’s progress in improving the quality of life of older people by feeding into the Global Age-Friendly Cities programme of the World Health Organization and the UK National Strategy for Housing in an Ageing Society: Lifetime Homes, Lifetime Neighbourhoods.
Making the Case for the Social Sciences: Ageing is available to download here (pdf download),688KB.
I'DGO showcased at international conference on the impact of global change
In line with the mission of the International Association for People-Environment Studies (IAPS), the conference addressed the relationship between the social, built and natural environments and how it is affected by global changes such as ageing populations. Talking about I'DGO methodologies, as well as findings, the team contributed to a programme of over 250 presentations and symposia. The five day event at the Leipziger KUBUS conference centre attracted delegates from 50 countries.
For further information, please visit www.iaps2010.ufz.de
Residential Outdoor Space analysis nears completion
In total, Dr Stride is looking at just under 2,550 questionnaires, of which almost half (1,229) were returned by participants aged 65 and over. One key finding to emerge from the analysis so far is that almost 50% of older respondents with residential outdoor space (such as a balcony, patio or garden) cannot do everything they want to in the space available to them, although they are still generally happy with it. Further analysis will aim to determine whether responses differ significantly according to the age of the participants.
Pedestrian-friendly Neighbourhoods study enters second phase
Conducted over a two month period, from June to August 2010, the programme involves six fieldworkers from the Edinburgh-based OPENspace research centre. The team are interviewing older people who, during the first phase of research, lived in conventional residential neighbourhoods and who now live in ‘DIY streets’ (where ‘shared space’ changes have been implemented), as well as a control group whose streets have remained unchanged. The first of its kind in this subject area, the project explores how environmental changes to sites in Edinburgh, London, Manchester, Torquay, Port Talbot and Sheffield have impacted on older residents’ quality of life and patterns of outdoor activities.
WISE leads interactive session at University of the Third Age
Based on her work at the WISE (Wellbeing in Sustainable Environments) research unit at the University of Warwick, Lynne presented on progress from the Residential Outdoor Space element of I'DGO TOO, which has now seen a survey response of just under 2,550. Asked “how important is the space around people’s homes?”, delegates gave ‘real time’ responses using TurningPoint technology, with the findings generally correlating with analysis of the official survey data to date. The event was held at the Oxford University Department for Continuing Education and was attended by around 50 older people.
SURFACE in Dublin for national Occupational Therapy conference
Presenting a 90-minute interactive workshop on the theme of Lifetime Neighbourhoods, Rita and Marcus worked with delegates to explore how best to support and promote older people’s independence within built-up residential areas. Participants were provided with a brief summary of key theory and practice in universal design, followed by the opportunity to work in facilitated groups assessing both barriers and enablers to being an older pedestrian. The workshop was informed by key findings from I'DGO’s first phase and guidance such as The Design of Streets with Older People in Mind.
For further information, please visit https://ssl.utvinternet.com/happen/aoti/index.asp
I'DGO trio in Beijing for invited Anglo-Chinese symposium on getting outdoors
Championed by the Lifelong Health and Wellbeing Initiative, the exclusive knowledge transfer event is being hosted by the Medical Research Council and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, in co-operation with Tsinghua University (Beijing). Focused on future collaboration between experts, the workshop seeks to encourage a multi-disciplinary, intercultural approach to linking healthy ageing with the built environment. Representing I'DGO in Beijing are Professor Catharine Ward Thompson (Edinburgh), Professor Elizabeth Burton (Warwick) and Hamish MacLennan (PhD student; Salford).
I'DGO presents at inaugural global congress in Australia
Speaking on behalf of the Outdoors & Health Network and its interest in ‘society’s relationship with the natural world and the role of the outdoors in health and well-being’, Catharine presented work on four different occasions during the five-day event. In total, the congress attracted 1,200 participants from 37 nations, each wishing to explore how parks and contact with nature impact significantly on people’s health and wellbeing. Reporting on findings from the first phase of I'DGO, as well as other OPENspace projects, Catharine presented on the comparative importance of different outdoor attributes and access to the street environment for older people, the impact of quality of urban green space on people’s wellbeing in deprived communities and the development of a toolkit to promote better woodlands walkability.
One-day workshop explores a joined-up approach to inclusive design
Entitled A Built Environment for All Ages, the event at Edinburgh College of Art attracted delegates from a range of professions, leading to a lively, multi-disciplinary conversation on inclusive design and supportive built environments. Introduced by Robin Harper MSP, speakers were drawn from local and national government, academia and advocacy, with the research context provided by I'DGO team members Catharine Ward Thompson, Rita Newton and Lynne Mitchell. Afternoon workshops helped make connections between policy, research and practice and established the need for joined-up thinking among all those who shape the public realm.
The presentations from A Built Environment for All Ages are available to download in pdf format from our presentations page. A full report on the event, including recommendations arising from the workshops, will shortly be available to download from the KT-EQUAL and I'DGO websites.
Tactile paving research showcased at falls prevention event
Hosted by the Universities of Bath and Reading, the event brought together clinicians, scientists and service users to talk about the prevention of falls and fractures. Team member Rita Newton was on hand to talk about I'DGO’s work in this area, which involves both ‘real world’ and laboratory-based research with older participants. Delegates were able to learn more about progress by reading the three new I'DGO publications launched a week previously.
I'DGO launches new publications at flagship Anglo-Canadian knowledge transfer event
The books were launched before a delegation of leading scientists and policy makers brought together, in Edinburgh, by the CIHR - Institute of Aging and KT-EQUAL. The high-profile event was supported by the British and Canadian High Commissions and involved a number of activities promoting research into age-supportive built environments. As well as the book launch, the programme took in seminars and presentations, a Healthy Neighbourhoods Workshop in Edinburgh’s historic ‘old town’ and lunch at the Scottish Parliament, hosted by the Cross-Party Group on Older People, Age and Ageing.
The three publications are available to download in pdf format from our publications page. They can also be requested in hard copy by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org. Many thanks to I'DGO partners Living Streets and Sustrans for facilitating the Healthy Neighbourhoods Workshop.
I'DGO connects with Edinburgh’s older people
The event on 9 November was organised by A City for All Ages, a council-led plan for older people that promotes social inclusion and positive attitudes to ageing. I'DGO Director, Catharine Ward Thompson, was one of four key speakers, while newly appointed staff, Mary Craig and Máire Cox, took part in the facilitated workshops later in the afternoon. Addressing environmental issues such as outdoor spaces and transportation, these sessions focused on the World Health Organization’s Checklist of Essential Features of Age-friendly Cities.
Catharine Ward Thompson takes I'DGO to Europe
The first event was Ambities voor Stadsgroen (Ambitions for Green City), a round-table discussion for researchers and designers linked to the Verborgen Stadsgroen (Secret Garden) biennale in Flanders, Belgium. It was jointly organised by KATHO, a university college in the city of Kortrijk, where the event was held on 1 October.
The second event was organised by AENEAS (Attaining Energy-Efficient Mobility in an Ageing Society), a knowledge transfer exchange supporting the European Intelligent Energy Europe (IEE) programme. Entitled Walking and Traffic Safety in an Ageing Society, it took the form of a two-day training workshop for a group of 50 city planners, designers and policy makers. Catharine was one of ten invited experts who contributed to the plenary session on 28 October and participated in the practical ‘city walkabout’ exercise the following day. Her presentation is available to download from the AENEAS website, alongside that of the other speakers.
Advice to Government
- Ministerial seminar on Lifetime Neighbourhoods, August 2008.
- CLG Stakeholder Roundtable on Delivering Lifetime Neighbourhoods and Inclusive Eco-Towns, August 2008.
- Scottish Government National Policy Seminar: Physical Activity, Healthy Environments and the National Performance Framework, Edinburgh, September 2008.
- Advice on Equality Impact Assessment for translating DfTs Manual for Streets Guidance into a Scottish context for the Scottish Government, November 2008.
- National Conference on Delivering Lifetime Homes and Neighbourhoods for an Ageing Population, supported by Counsel + Care and CLG, 2nd December 2008, London.
World Health Organisation Global Age-Friendly Cities: a Guide
This WHO publication launched in 2007 refers to the I'DGO guidance available on our website.
I'DGO TOO Launched , London, 21st June 2007
A new phase of projects under the I'DGO consortium, entitled ‘I'DGO TOO’, was launched in London with presentations from EPSRC, Help the Aged, WHO and SPARC. For details see the presentations