About us

Understanding the relationship between population ageing and urban change has become a major issue for public policy and an increasingly important area for interdisciplinary research.

The Manchester Urban Ageing Research Group (MUARG) brings together researchers from a wide variety of disciplinary backgrounds. We are committed to working with national, regional and local government, third-sector organisations, NGOs, and older people, to promote 'age-friendly' urban environments.

Our researchers work on a range of themes which connect ageing societies with various dimensions of urban change, including:

  • inequalities facing older people living in areas of multiple deprivations;
  • how different dimensions of social exclusion impact upon the experience of ageing in urban environments;
  • developing new approaches to urban planning and design;
  • working with older people and other stakeholders as co-producers of knowledge about urban environments;
  • understanding the influence of home and neighbourhood on the lives of older people.
  • collaborating with partners across Europe, North America and Asia to undertake studies around the concept of 'age-friendly' cities and communities, an approach developed by the World Health Organisation.

Our aims

  • to undertake interdisciplinary research on urban ageing;
  • to develop international collaboration and cross-national research on ageing and urbanisation;
  • to promote new methodologies and knowledge exchange activities which involve older people as co-investigators;
  • to assist the development of evidence-based local, regional, and national policies which aim to improve the experience of ageing in cities;
  • to secure internal and external funds to support work on urban ageing.

Our values and practices

MURAG vision workshop image

An important part of the group’s activities is to reflect on what motivates our research and how we put this into practice. During a workshop to discuss our values and practices More Than Minutes captured some of the discussion in these visual minutes.

Our awards

Dr Tine Buffel (Sociology), Professor Christopher Phillipson (Sociology) and other MUARG colleagues - Faculty of Humanities

Winner, Outstanding public engagement initiative

Tess Hartland (PhD student in Sociology) nominated by Tine Buffel, for her co-produced “Echoes of Displacement”.

‘Echoes of Displacement’ is a captivating comic book narrating the collective story of people growing older while seeking sanctuary in the UK. Created collaboratively with participants and refugee charities, the comic is widely used by organisations to raise awareness about refugee experiences.

Watch the award video here

Winner, Professor Tine Buffel, Researcher of the Year, Distinguised achievement awards. 

Professor Tine Buffel’s pioneering research on urban ageing is driving action to enable cities to create supportive environments for older people. Tine’s creation and leadership of the Manchester Urban Ageing Research Group, an interdisciplinary centre bringing together early and mid-career researchers, has brought international recognition for the University’s work in this area, as well as supported a new generation of researchers

Watch Tine talk about career, her research with MUARG, and her hopes for the future here.

Winner, Outstanding benefit to society through research: 'COVID-19, inequality and older people'

Making a Difference Awards

Professor Tine Buffel (Sociology), Professor Christopher Phillipson (Sociology) and other MUARG colleagues - Faculty of Humanities

This project highlights the impact of COVID-19 on older people across the region, especially in relation to declining social contact and feelings of mental and physical deterioration. The research identified gaps in service provision for older people arising from the pandemic, in particular groups from minority ethnic communities, people self-identifying as LGTBQ+ , and those at risk of social isolation from low incomes or poor health.

Watch the award video here

Paul McGarry, Head of Greater Manchester Ageing Hub, has been recognised by the UN Decade of Health Ageing as one of 50 leaders in the field of Health Ageing. The initiate names and honours 50 leaders who have contributed to fostering healthy ageing in their respective area of work.

You can read more about Paul’s work and the Healthy Ageing 50 initiative here

Sophie Yarker, Deputy Director of MUARG has won Research Staff of the Year in the Faculty of Humanities in the University of Manchester’s Research Staff Excellence Awards 2021/22.

Contributing to sustainable development

Listen to Dr Tine Buffel explain how our research contributes to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).