Growth in the absolute and relative size of the older population will constitute one of the most significant social transformations of the twenty-first century. In 2017, there were an estimated 962 million people in the world aged 60 years or over, by 2050 there are predicted to be 2.1 billion. If ageing is to be a positive experience, and our expanding older population is to age well, the World Health Organisation argues that ‘longer life must be accompanied by continuing opportunities for health, participation and security’. Drawing on a diverse set of recent studies, which engaged with the first two opportunities, this talk will explore how we can create physical, social and political environments that may help promote health and wellbeing in later life. Weaving together findings on a wide spectrum of subjects, from accessible environments to volunteering, community reintegration to urban planning, generated by a range of research methods, from longitudinal surveys to non-participant observation, the talk will also highlight the continuing need for multi- and inter-disciplinary research on ageing.
Dr Katherine Brookfield
Dr Katherine Brookfield is a Lecturer in Human Geography at the University of York. Her research interests span a range of topics including age-friendly design, planning and the built environment, housing, participation and research methods. Recent funded projects have explored participation and volunteering over the lifecourse, neighbourhood planning and how to design environments to support health, wellbeing, participation and mobility as people age. Outside academia, she has held research and consultancy positions in the property sector.