Our interdisciplinary Urban Studies list examines how the built environment shapes behaviour and how to address complex problems like urban poverty, gentrification, climate change and educational inequality.
Subjects covered include urban planning, urban geography, urban policy, local governance and community-based participation, to offer a broad understanding of how urban dynamics shape both global interdependence and local spaces.
To establish the scope of this chapter, I return to two key factors. First, as outlined in Figure 0.1, environments of ageing can be seen on different but interrelating spatial scales. Second, the relationship between environments seen at these different levels relates to individual behaviour and quality of life, which is revealed through interactions. These factors are considered in the light of theoretical developments taken from two bodies of work, social gerontology (in particular environmental gerontology) and the developing theoretical literature in geographical gerontology that extends our understanding of ageing through the spatial turn, as seen in Chapter 1. In general, theoretical perspectives from social gerontology are centred on the individual based at the local- or micro-level, what can be called the near environment – the dwelling, neighbourhood or community, with some matters relating to city, town and village. The concern here is how ideas can be extended so that environments of ageing can be recognised at both meso- and macro-levels of analysis, involving individual and collective behaviour. Here, perspectives offered by geographical gerontology may be beneficial, as they extend interdisciplinarity and participatory methods and particular theoretical approaches.
As clinical, physiological and psychological aspects of gerontology were studied during the 20th century (Kontos, 2005a), a human ecological perspective developed in the US and in Europe, and this underpins many ideas in environmental gerontology (Kleemier, 1959, 1961; Bronfenbrenner, 1979; Bernard and Rowles, 2013; Rowles and Bernard, 2013).