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Name of scholarship/program

Integrating sense of place into age friendly homes and communities

Important description
The aging-in-place agenda posits that the preferred environment to age is the home and community, enabling older people to retain a sense of independence, safety and belonging. Encouraging older adults to remain in their communities has contributed to planning and design concepts such as age-friendly cities and liveable neighbourhoods. However, simply changing the built form is not sufficient to create a more inclusive environment for ageing since places are more than physical spaces. Current urban planning and development models have overlooked the notion of sense of place, articulated through supports for active living, social participation and meaningful involvement in the community. Integrating sense of place into the built environment is essential for supporting active ageing. In contrast a feeling of displacement or ムplacelessnessメ is associated with alienation, isolation and loneliness, often resulting in adverse health outcomes, especially amongst older adults.

This PhD project will be based in the research group ムHealth and wellbeing in the built environmentメ in the Schoolメs Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Building Design. The project will examine how communities and homes can support successful ageing contributing to the following research questions: (i) how is sense of place experienced by older people across a range of community and housing contexts? (ii) how can we translate the experiences of older adults into designs for age friendly homes and communities and (iii) how can we better articulate the role of older adults as active ムplacemakersメ in the planning and development process? The research will be qualitative and welcomes the use of participatory or visual methodologies.

Eligibility and other criteria
Local and international students may apply

Application deadline
* February 27, 2015

Additional information, and important URL

This is a Fees Scholarship which will fund tuition fees (regardless of fee status). The successful candidate will be required to fund their own living costs or seek external funding to support this.

Applications are particularly welcome from candidates with a gerontology (social and psychological ageing), psychological (e.g. community, environment, social), and/or built environment background (e.g. housing, geographers, planners). As the work might involve speaking to vulnerable older adults previous personal or work experience in this area may be advantageous. Applicants should have a first-class honours degree in a relevant subject or a 2.1 honours degree plus Masters (or equivalent).


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