Urbanisation and population ageing: An interdisciplinary approach to understanding 'ageing in place' in cities

This research programme (2021-2026) generates groundbreaking knowledge on population ageing and urbanisation – two of the most significant social trends of the 21st century.

It is theoretically and methodologically innovative, drawing upon an interdisciplinary approach that involves fieldwork in seven contrasting cities across the world.

Aims of the research 

  • Co-produce innovative models of dissemination with various stakeholder groups
  • Advance understanding of ‘ageing in place’ in cities using interdisciplinary perspectives
  • Examine policies and age-friendly initiatives aimed at supporting ageing in place across seven cities
  • Explore experiences of ageing in place among diverse ageing populations (reflecting different ethnic, gender and class backgrounds) living in urban neighbourhoods
  • Develop methods and tools for measuring and reporting the impact of age-friendly interventions

A Spatial Justice Framework for Age-Friendly Cities 

The project seeks to transform current research on the relationship between ageing and urbanisation by developing an innovate theoretical framework of age-friendly cities and communities around the concept of spatial justice.

A spatial justice framework brings a focus on how age-friendly interventions could be used to respond to the inequalities within the older population whilst improving the experience of ageing in place amongst minoritised and marginalised groups. 

Building on our spatial justice framework, the project aims to compare the development of age-friendly policy across all 7 cites. Working with partners in the cities, the project has collected demographic data and examples of age-friendly initiatives from each case study city and the results have been considered in relation to the principles of equity, diversity and co-production.

Initial findings from this work can be viewed on our dedicated webpage: AFC Spatial Justice Framework 


The Leverhulme Trust (Research Leadership Award)

Research Team


Find out more



Upcoming Events

We currently have no upcoming events.

Past Events

Dismantaling and Rebuilding Praxis for Age-Friendly Cities and Communities, Tuesday 4 July.

Echoes of Displacement comic book launch, Monday 19 June 2023.

Conversations on Urban Ageing and Inclusivity in Manchetser's Rave Scene, Wednesday 14 June 2023.

Conversations in Urban Ageing and Alternative Housing Futures, Tuesday, 7 February 2023.

Trends in the Development of Housing for Older People in France: the Growth of Intermediate Housing, Monday 3 October 2022.

Conversations on Urban Ageing and Structural Racism, Tuesday, 7 June 2022.

Conversations on Urban Ageing and Urban Mobility, Tuesday, 5 Apr 2022.

Conversations on Urban Ageing and Spatial Justice, Tuesday, 15 Feb 2022.

Conversations on Urban Ageing and Social Infrastructure, Tuesday, 23 Nov 2021.

Conversations on Urban Ageing and Co-production, Tuesday, 19 Oct 2021. 

Watch the launch event for the project with key notes from Emily Greenfield, Tine Buffel and Paul McGarry.

News and Activities

  • Members of the Ageing in Place research team have won a Making a Difference Award, Outstanding benefit to society through research for their work on 'COVID-19, inequality and older people' 

    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.

  • Sophie Yarker recently took in a panel discussion as part of a Centre for Ageing Better webinar on Community Connections. The panellists discussed what needs to be in place to enable everyone to maintain, rebuild or grow our social connections as we age. Watch the recording via the Centre for Ageing Better website.
  • Researchers from the Ageing in Place project have been recognised for their contribution to public engagement and won the Sociology Staff Public Engagement Prize (University of Manchester). The team won the prize for their work to reduce the risk of social exclusion for older people during the pandemic. Find out more.
  • Tine Buffel has been elected as an expert member of World Health Organisation advisory group for the UN Decade of Healthy Ageing 2021-2030. The Technical Advisory Group reflects eminent experts in the major areas of relevance such as epidemiology, geriatrics, gerontology, demography, community development, and statistics.