Urban ageing and social exclusion

Social exclusion has been identified as a major issue facing older people.

This project aims to overcome gaps in conceptual and empirical knowledge about social exclusion, with particular emphasis on problems facing older people living in urban settings.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) 'Age-friendly Cities and Communities' model has been influential in raising awareness about the need to adapt urban environments to the demands of an ageing population.

This mixed-methods study examines whether and how the model contributes to tackling social exclusion among older people. The study takes a cross-national approach to identify new information for policies and practices challenging social exclusion in European cities.

Research aims

  • Improve theoretical and empirical understanding of older peoples' experiences of exclusion in contrasting urban settings.
  • Explore whether the WHO framework and the associated planning process capture and reflect older people's experiences of exclusion.
  • Identify ways in which older people themselves are involved in the co-production of policy and practice responses aimed at tackling social exclusion in later life.

Principal Investigator

Dr Tine Buffel, Sociology, The University of Manchester.


Economic and Social Research Council Future Leaders Scheme.



  • Buffel, T., Rémillard-Boilard, S., Walsh, K., McDonald, B., Smetcoren, A.S., De Donder, L. (in press) Age-Friendly approaches and old-age exclusion: A cross-city analysis. International Journal of Ageing.
  • Buffel, T. and Phillipson, C. (in press) Gentrifying in an urban neighbourhood: The experience of older people. Sociological Review.
  • Phillipson, C. and Buffel, T. (2020) Age-friendly cities and communities: Policy opportunities and challenges. Journal of Elder Policy, 1(1), 137-154.
  • Prattley, J., Buffel, T. (corresponding author), Marshall, A. and Nazroo, J. (2020). Area effects on the level and development of social exclusion in later life, Social Science and Medicine.



  • Buffel, T., Handler, S. and Phillipson, C. (eds) (2018) Age-friendly communities: A global perspective. Bristol: Policy Press.
  • Buffel, T. (2018) Social research and co-production with older people. Developing age-friendly communities. Journal of Aging Studies, 44, 52-60.
  • Buffel, T. (2018) Older co-researchers exploring age-friendly communities. An ‘insider’ perspective on the benefits and challenges of peer-research. The Gerontologist. doi:10.1093/geront/gnx216.
  • Buffel, T. and Phillipson, C. (2018) A manifesto for the age-friendly movement: Developing a new urban agenda. Journal of Aging & Social Policy. https://doi.org/10.1080/08959420.2018.1430414.
  • Buffel, T. and Doran, P. (2018) Translating research into action: Involving older people in co-producing knowledge about age-friendly neighbourhood interventions. Working with Older People. https://doi.org/10.1108/WWOP-11-2017-0033.
  • Cotterell, N., Buffel, T. and Phillipson, C. (2018) Preventing social isolation in older people. Maturitas, 10.1016/j.maturitas.2018.04.014.
  • Greenfield, E., Black, K., Buffel, T. and Yeh, J. (2018) Community Gerontology: A Framework for Research, Policy and Practice on Communities and Aging, The Gerontologist, https://doi.org/10.1093/geront/gny089.
  • James, H., Price, D. and Buffel, T. (2018). Understanding pension decisions: Recruiting and sampling participants in private sector organizations. SAGE Research Methods Cases. 10.4135/9781526444820.
  • Del Barrio, E., Marsillas, S., Buffel, T., Smetcoren, A. S., and Sancho, M. (2018). From Active Aging to Active Citizenship: The Role of (Age) Friendliness. Social Sciences, 7(8), 134.


  • Remillard-Boilard, S., Buffel, T. and Phillipson, C. (2017) Involving older residents in age-friendly developments: From information to co-production mechanisms. Journal of Housing for the Elderly, 31: 146-159.


  • Buffel, T. and Phillipson, C. (2016) Can global cities be ‘age-friendly cities’? Urban development and ageing populations. Cities, 55:94-100.