Research

 

You will find a complete range of our monographs, muti-authored and edited works including peer-reviewed, original scholarly research across the social sciences and aligned disciplines. We publish long and short form research and you can browse the complete Bristol University Press and Policy Press archive of over 1,500 titles.

Policy Press also publishes policy reviews and polemic work which aim to challenge policy and practice in certain fields. These books have a practitioner in mind and are practical, accessible in style, as well as being academically sound and referenced.
 

Books: Research

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The various chapters in this book have explored the development and consolidation of the concept and practice of creating age-friendly cities and communities. There seems little doubt that a substantial movement has now emerged (albeit principally across the Global North), with the World Health Organization Global Network of Age-Friendly Cities and Communities claiming a membership of around 1,500 by 2024. Yet, as also highlighted by various contributors, the context for this work has been challenging to say the least.

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How can we design, develop and adapt urban environments to better meet the needs of an increasingly diverse ageing population?

This edited collection develops an exciting new approach to understanding the potential and challenges of creating ‘age-friendly’ communities in the context of urban change. Drawing together insights from leading voices across a range of disciplines, the book stresses the pressing need to better understand and attend to the inequalities that shape the experience of ageing in place in urban environments. The book combines a focus on equity and social justice issues with considerations of diversity and co-production to foster a better quality of urban life. Exploring a range of age-friendly community projects and interventions, it shows that despite structural obstacles, meaningful social change can be achieved at a local level.

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This chapter examines experiences of precarity among diverse groups of older people who are facing various forms of discrimination and injustices. It starts by outlining experiences of risk and insecurity in later life as defined by the concept of ‘precarity’. The analysis then explores the extent of precarity facing three contrasting groups of older people in urban areas: the Chinese community in the UK; older refugees and asylum seekers; and older people living in areas undergoing gentrification. Through an examination of the relevant research literature for each group, the specific insecurities created by contrasting life course trajectories are illustrated, focusing on three markers of precarity facing older people within these groups: uncertainty; barriers to accessing appropriate services; and financial exclusion. The chapter concludes by highlighting how emancipatory methods, such as co-production and creative methodologies embedded in a precarity perspective, can amplify the voices and serve the needs of those experiencing forms of economic and social exclusion.

Open access

How can we design, develop and adapt urban environments to better meet the needs of an increasingly diverse ageing population?

This edited collection develops an exciting new approach to understanding the potential and challenges of creating ‘age-friendly’ communities in the context of urban change. Drawing together insights from leading voices across a range of disciplines, the book stresses the pressing need to better understand and attend to the inequalities that shape the experience of ageing in place in urban environments. The book combines a focus on equity and social justice issues with considerations of diversity and co-production to foster a better quality of urban life. Exploring a range of age-friendly community projects and interventions, it shows that despite structural obstacles, meaningful social change can be achieved at a local level.

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This chapter examines the possibilities of applying the Village model in two neighbourhoods with significant levels of economic deprivation in Manchester in the UK. The Village model is a community-based initiative developed in the US which is seen as an innovative approach to addressing complex health and social care needs, but which has rarely been tested in low-income neighbourhoods characterised by high levels of social exclusion among older residents. This chapter reports on the participatory action research project ‘Urban Villages’, which aimed to develop new approaches to applying the Village model. Results offer insights into the use of co-production methods with older people; the role of capacities of individuals, communities and places; and the importance of flexibility, continuity and leadership.

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This chapter summarises the main themes of the book, calling on future urban ageing research to reimagine age-friendly communities through a spatial justice lens. It argues that a spatial justice perspective in urban ageing research, policy, and practice is achieved by embracing diversity, maintaining a focus on equity and centring older people through the use of co-production, and this perspective allows us to start reimagining age-friendly cities and communities. The chapter concludes by challenging urban ageing researchers to centre inequalities, meaningfully engage with urban theory and adopt epistemological positions that open up new ways of collectively creating inclusive urban environments for all ages.

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This chapter introduces the Age-Friendly Cities and Communities (AFCC) framework by detailing the history and development of the age-friendly movement, including the role of the Global Network of AFCC in supporting urban ageing. Drawing on over a decade of experience from cities delivering age-friendly programmes, the chapter goes on to detail the key achievements and challenges experienced by the Global Network. Four key achievements of AFCC programmes are identified: placing ageing on the political agenda; gathering the support of multiple stakeholders, including older people; implementing a wide range of projects for and with older people; and developing this work in diverse contexts. The chapter concludes by linking ageing to other global priorities in this era of polycrisis.

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This chapter explores how a major challenge for research on urban ageing lies in connecting age-friendly approaches to strategies underpinning urban development. There is little consensus about what makes a supportive, inclusive environment for older people in areas undergoing rapid and dramatic social and material transformation. Drawing on empirical research carried out in Collyhurst (Manchester), the analysis reflects on the specific opportunities and challenges of incorporating an age-friendly ethos into a large-scale regeneration that is set to radically transform the neighbourhood over a 15–20-year period. Recommendations are made for how urban developments can be more inclusive, centring on the central idea of ‘equitable development’, where social goals are made explicit from the outset. In practice, this means that redevelopment should acknowledge the specific histories of local communities, adopt an intergenerational lens to create inclusive spaces, and engage with residents in a meaningful and sustained way that is transparent and specific to the community and challenges in question.

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This chapter provides an assessment of the age-friendly programmes developed in the city of Manchester and Greater Manchester from the late 1990s. First, it provides an overview of demographic and social characteristics of Manchester and Greater Manchester. Second, it reviews the evolution of, and the influences behind, age-friendly work in Manchester. Third, developments at a regional level are discussed, in particular the development of the Greater Manchester Ageing Hub. Fourth, national age-friendly work is summarised, notably the expansion of the UK Network of Age-Friendly Cities. Finally, the chapter provides a critical reflection on age-friendly work in the city and the region, and provides some thoughts about likely developments up to 2030.

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This chapter presents a critical perspective on Age-Friendly Cities and Communities (AFCC) by analysing key aspects of guidance documents for the World Health Organization’s Global Network of Age-Friendly Cities and Communities. Our analysis is premised on the idea that a greater plurality of approaches to AFCC praxis – especially those that are explicitly relationally oriented and centre issues of positionality and power – is necessary for the movement to better achieve aspirational goals concerning ageing and health equity. We call for an emancipatory approach to centre the experiences of marginalised and minoritised older adults and to advance complementary or alternative epistemologies that inform and undergird AFCC praxis. We envision such an approach as richly embedded in critical gerontology and Black feminist scholarship, orienting to issues of precarity, racism, patriarchy and the quest for epic theory. By building, in part, on the work of AFCC thought leaders over the past decade, our work of both dismantling and rebuilding offers promise for addressing issues of diversity, equity, inclusion and anti-racism within AFCC efforts, and for improving their reach, effectiveness and sustainability.

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