|Wednesday, June 24|
Creating spaces that cater exclusively for one group can create schisms across generations and increase the invisibilisation of population groups such as older people, homeless people or youth with mental health issues; normalising their absence while pathologizing their presence. This symposium focuses on linking together notions of age, placemaking and intergenerational relationships to provide ways forward for designing and developing inclusive communities and cities for our increasingly diverse populations, in five presentations. The symposium builds on Kaplan, Sanchez and Hoffmans (2017) suggestion that, strong intergenerational relationships are not only at the root of healthy and productive aging; they are also an important component of sustainable and liveable societies, through ensuring that intergenerational placemaking is as much about challenging ageist stereotypes and exclusionary practices, as it is about: providing the resources, narratives and opportunities for mutual support; extending and strengthening social ties; and exchange of skills and shared learning. The coming together of different generations in purposeful, equitable and participatory activities can provide space for positive intergenerational connectedness where identities are reformed and mindsets changed.
* Me Fang, University of Dundee, United Kingdom
Older peoples perspectives on building age-friendly intergenerational cities and communities: Findings from the UK-Brasil PLACEAGE project
* Judith Sixsmith, University of dundee, United Kingdom
Ryan Woolrych, Heriot-Watt University, United Kingdom
Deborah Menezes, Heriot-Watt University, United Kingdom
Adriana Portella, Federal University of Pelotas, Brazil
Rebecca Lawthom, Manchester Metropolitan University, United Kingdom
Jenny Fisher, Manchester Metropolitan University, United Kingdom
With demographic ageing, cities and communities need to be designed to ensure that the personal, social and health needs of older people are taken into account. Previous research suggests that ageing-in-the-right place can be achieved by developing age friendly cities and communities, as identified in the WHO age-friendly cities agenda. However, designing for older people may create environments that are inappropriate for, unattractive to or are alienating for younger age groups. An intergenerational perspective is required to ensure the concerns, needs and expectations of both young and older are integrated into the development and design process. The ESRC funded PLACEAGE project (www.placeage.org) concentrated on older people and their understanding of and perspectives on intergenerational design. Data was collected with older people (aged 55+) in 3 cities in the UK (Edinburgh, Glasgow and Manchester) and 3 in Brasil (Pelotas, Brasilia and Belo Horizonte) via in-depth interviews (30/city), walk along interviews (10 /city) and community mapping workshops (3/city). In-depth and walk-along interviews focused on the experience of community and sense of place. Workshops focused on services, accessibility and social participation. Findings suggest that when co-designing for intergenerational places and spaces, the notion of community belonging, place appropriation and power imbalances need to be negotiated across age groups. Awareness raising concerning personhood and identity is required and design for mutual purpose and benefits is a central tenet if intergenerational place design is to be successful. The findings suggest the need to understand age-friendly intergenerational cities and communities through an integrated and co-ordinated policy and practice framework which is co-created with younger and older people who bring their experiential expertise to the table. Policy development and further research needs to fully explore and integrate more ephemeral issues of community belonging, sense of place and identity when planning for effective age-friendly intergenerational places and spaces.
Healthy universities for healthy communities: intergenerational and cross-sectoral perspectives
* Linda McSwiggan, University of Dundee, United Kingdom
Judith Sixsmith, University of Dundee, United Kingdom
Mei Lan Fang, University of Dundee, United Kingdom
Summary: Universities and communities tend to operate in silos, yet both are key components of a broader living ecosystem. As the Health Promoting Universities movement continues to mature, universities have a unique opportunity to be societal leaders in promoting healthy settings for people to learn, work, play and love – recognizing that “health is created and lived by people within the settings of everyday life” (World Health Organisation, 1986). This project aimed to bring students and staff from Scottish universities together with local community members to explore opportunities for positive, sustainable impacts on health and wellbeing. The objectives were to discuss, develop and conjoin the concepts of ‘healthy universities’ and ‘healthy communities’ and to explore innovative ways for universities and local communities to co-create solutions for improving health and wellbeing. Four Knowledge Café and Dialogue Events were conducted across Scotland (May-November 2019), followed by a final Showcase event (December 2019). This community-focused approach facilitated integrated knowledge translation - a participatory way of working whereby participants collaborate to co-generate new knowledge that is relevant in real world settings. The findings revealed that, although universities have mutually beneficial relationships with sections of their local communities, they tend to focus on the health and wellbeing of students and staff rather than the community within which they are situated. However, intergenerational working has the potential to increase co-operation between universities and communities in ways that could enhance health and wellbeing for all. Recommendations for bridging the generational divide include: (i)creating a power equilibrium, (ii)practical ideas for real world impact and (iii)inclusive and equitable communication. This project has started conversations about what could be done, strategically and practically, to 'make a difference' to Scottish health outcomes by bringing universities and communities together. Building on these recommendations, interest in developing an age-friendly, intergenerational university-community ecosystem is growing.
Co-creating community hubs for intergenerational place-making
* Mei Lan Fang, University of Dundee, United Kingdom
Judith Sixsmith, University of Dundee, United Kingdom
Alison Hamilton-Pryde, Heriot-Watt University, United Kingdom
* Pat Scrutton, Intergenerational National Network, United Kingdom
Vikki McCall, University of Dundee, United Kingdom
Ro Pengally, ScotSectorLink, United Kingdom
Ryan McKay, Citadel Youth Center, United Kingdom
Summary: The shift towards ageing societies alongside developing technologies highlights the need to create better ways of ensuring that older adults are integrated into the matrix of opportunities afforded in their lifetime communities. By avoiding the generation of old-age specific environments, an intergenerational approach to developing age-friendly ecosystems was proposed. To improve the health and wellbeing of people and communities, in line with Sustainable Development Goals 3 (to “ensure healthy lives, promote wellbeing for all at all ages”) and 11 (making “cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable"), this project initiated the co-development of notions of lifetime communities in the form of a living age-friendly eco-system. The co-creation of a living ecosystem of community hubs was spearheaded by the Intergenerational National Network in Scotland who identified a need for intergenerational models to create inclusive and integrative age-friendly environments. Informed by a community-based participatory approach, a series of co-creation camps (n=4) were organised across participating cultural, activity and housing community organisations/initiatives in Scotland. In-person and virtual participation from cross-disciplinary and cross-sectoral partners promoted shared learning on ways to build intergenerational age-friendly places, including international perspectives from Scotland, China, India, Denmark, Slovakia and Canada. Creating effective lifetime communities requires individuals across generations, countries, disciplines and sectors need to build joint understandings of place dynamics and work cohesively together to co-construct places that promote social connectivity, inclusivity and diversity. Project findings helped produce a knowledge pathway towards better people-place understandings on how to jointly work with fluctuating social domains (industry, voluntary sector, public service, transportation, academic/university) in both urban and rural settings to facilitate social engagement; and use this knowledge to generate innovative solutions to co-create living, sustainable inter-connected lifetime community hubs. Key words: age-friendly ecosystem, co-creation, intergenerational working, life-course, wellbeing
Age friendly narratives; a visual synthesis of age friendly ecosystems
* Alison Hamilton-Pryde, Heriot-Watt University, United Kingdom
This study focuses on presenting qualitative exploratory data collected from the first (Camp 1) of six co-creation camps within an overarching study led by members of the Intergenerational National Network in Scotland; Intergenerational Placemaking: developing an age-friendly ecosystem, for SUII UN Global Goals programme. This study seeks to improve the health and wellbeing of Scottish people living in urban and rural communities akin with Sustainable Development Goals 3 and 11, by initiating the co-development of sustainable communities in the form of developing a living age-friendly eco-system (Fang, et al. 2020). Camp 1 builds on recommendations (Whiteland, 2013) that participatory intergenerational visual arts-based activities generate a sense of community amongst generations. Social distancing measures induced in response to COVID-19 impacted the initial plans for Camp 1 (conducting a traditional in-person all age co-creation workshop) which was rapidly re-designed using digital and virtual video conferencing methods, negating the consequential separation of generations and continuing the cross fusion of ideas. Camp 1 welcomed diverse participation from academics, policy makers, global research partners and Scottish community stakeholders. Research outputs captured the conceptual essence of age-friendly ecosystems through visually documenting mixed age conversations with the support of visual artists and video summaries. This synthesis of ideas continued with the co-creation of a mixed media photomontage displaying key age-friendly ecosystem narratives. These narratives influenced research activities for five consecutive cocreation camps. This sub study highlights the value of utilising visual methods to support allage participation, and for the exploration of research themes relating to age friendly ecosystems. It also aims to shape age friendly communities, support health and wellbeing, accessibility, inclusion and social connection.
Examining and conceptualizing the lived experience of resilience for homelessness: A life-course perspective
* Sarah Canham, University of Utah, United States
Mei Lan Fang, University of Dundee, United Kingdom
Mineko Wada, Simon Fraser University, Canada
Background: Current conceptualizations of resilience are ambiguous with neither consensus on the definition nor agreement on how resilience is measured and experienced across populations. For example, existing definitions of resilience have overlooked the lived experiences of homeless older adults – individuals who have much to offer in terms of progressing understandings of resilience. Objective: To examine and advance conceptualizations of resilience for research, policy, and practice by reviewing existing literature and integrating with findings from a community-engaged research project on homelessness. Methods: A review of existing conceptualizations of resilience was conducted to explore late-life resilience and understandings of cumulative adaptive capability across the life course. Informed by Bronfenbrenner’s ecological theory, a conceptual model was constructed through a secondary analysis of in-depth interviews with 10 shelter/housing providers, 10 hospital-based social workers, and 20 persons with lived experience of homelessness that explored the health supports needed for individuals experiencing homelessness upon hospital discharge in Vancouver, Canada. Results: Our conceptual model captures multi-system resilience factors at four levels: 1) micro-level (individual physical/mental health status, age, education, income, race/ethnicity, gender/sexuality, immigration status, housing status); 2) meso-level (formal and informal supports including social workers, hospital staff, transportation programs, Native counselors and children, neighbours, homeless peers); 3) exo-level (operational policies and shelter design); and 4) macro-level (public and structural stigma of homelessness). Implications: Our conceptualization of resilience has implications for policy and practice. Policymakers and practitioners must consider how the physical, social, cultural, systemic, and institutional aspects of services and other environments impact the older adults for whom they are making decisions or providing care. Using our framework as a guide, we hope that future decisions are made with older adults who are experiencing homelessness through systemic empowerment and meaningful social support to enhance their agency and resilience in place.
* Mei Fang, University of Dundee, United Kingdom
* Judith Sixsmith, University of Dundee, United Kingdom