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Mobilising Knowledge

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Solving the interaction gap between older people, planners, experts and general citizens within the Thames Gateway from May 2007 to October 2008.

London skyline featuring the Shard.

About this project

This project was funded by the UCL-led UrbanBuzz Programme winthi which UEL is a prime partner. The research team was comprised of Gesche Wuerfel, Alison Rooke, Rebecca Maguire, Simon Rowe, Michael Keith, and Ben Gidley.

Our cities must deal with an increasingly ageing population but are ill equipped to tackle the needs of older people. Older people are often excluded from urban development processes and disadvantaged in their interactions with the urban environment while their valuable knowledge and experiences remain untapped by planners.

Therefore, a summer school critically exploring future developments from the perspective of local older people is being planned. The summer school aims to equip twenty senior citizens of mixed ethnic and class backgrounds with knowledge and skills in art, geography and citizenship, by means of photography, mapping and an exploration of the plans for the Thames Gateway. This will allow older people to interact with urban change, reflect on their needs, and propose concrete solutions for how development can be more inclusive of the entire population in a workshop with council officers, councillors and other important representatives. The results will be compiled in good-practice guidelines that can be used in future planning processes.

Publications and results

The results will be disseminated to diverse public and private actors in a variety of formats, making the broader public as well as policy-makers aware of seniors’ particular requirements in the urban environment.

Mobilizing Knowledge Report (PDF download)