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Manchester Institute for Collaborative Research on Ageing

Green Infrastructure and the Health and Wellbeing Influences on an Ageing Population (GHIA)

Green infrastructure, including blue (water-based) and green public space, can influence health and wellbeing.

However, access to health and wellbeing benefits is not shared equally amongst the population, particularly in urban areas. People aged 65 and over are most likely to suffer from poor health, yet this group may be the least likely to benefit from green infrastructure (GI).

Researchers work with partners from Greater Manchester to investigate the value of urban GI in connection with the health and wellbeing of older people.

The project aims to understand the benefits and values of urban GI for older people and how GI attributes, interventions and specific ‘greening projects’ can be best used to support healthy ageing in urban areas.

This includes consideration of how GI can be designed, enhanced, managed and promoted to support its use as part of preventative and restorative therapies and other health and wellbeing related activities. Older people are involved as co-producers of the research to better understand thoughts, experiences and values that are associated with green and blue spaces.

Research questions 

  • To what extent does ‘greening’ urban environments result in improvements in the wellbeing of older people?
  • How well does the current provision of benefits match older peoples’ needs, and what inequalities emerge?
  • How can different types of provision and need be represented spatially?
  • How can urban parks, grasslands, allotments and riversides help people living with early-stage dementia?
  • How can digital technologies support those who may be excluded?

Principal Investigator

Dr Sarah Lindley, Geography, School of Environment, Education & Development (SEED), University of Manchester

Co-investigators

  • Dr Jenna Ashton, Manchester Metropolitan University
  • Dr Adam Barker, School of Environment, Education and Development, The University of Manchester 
  • Dr Gina Cavan, School of Social Science and the Environment, Manchester Metropolitan University
  • Prof. Penny Cook, School of Health Science, University of Salford
  • Prof. David French, School of Psychological Science, The University of Manchester 
  • Dr Anna Gilchrist, School of Environment, Education and Development, The University of Manchester 
  • Prof. Philip James, School of Environment and Life Sciences, University of Salford
  • Prof. John O’Neill, School of Social Sciences, The University of Manchester 
  • Prof. Christopher Phillipson, School of Social Sciences, The University of Manchester
  • Dr Konstantinos Tzoulas, School of Social Science and the Environment, Manchester Metropolitan University
  • Prof. Ada Wossink, School of Social Sciences, The University of Manchester 

Funding period

August 2016 - July 2019

Funders

Partner Organisations

Contact

Email: sarah.lindley@manchester.ac.uk