Research project: It is now well established that the design of urban areas can, and does, impact on people’s health in a range of ways. This project will specifically focus on the issues faced by people in navigating around towns and cities as they age, using Liverpool as a living laboratory. It will involve generating new data on the impacts of ageing on people’s ability to move around specific elements of the built environment (including the city centre, suburban shopping parades, parks and open spaces). It will investigate their stated preferences in relation to routes through the city, and explore how the design of the city can be changed in practice – i.e. how the complex patterns of production and consumption of the built environment can be influenced to make Liverpool, and other cities, more friendly to people of all ages.
The project will combine physical and engineering sciences with social science methodologies, in a three stage process. Stage 1 will involve a series of experiments to measure a range of factors in mobility in the built environment and how these are affected by age – including ability to climb steps, navigate across various surfaces, and walk different distances. Critically, these will be done in the built environment as opposed to in the laboratory. In Stage 2, participants will be asked to use virtual technology to choose different routes through Liverpool to test their preferences in relation to these factors. Stage 3 will explore how the built environment in Liverpool can be changed through the development process, to reflect the findings of Stages 1 and 2.
For more details on the research project please contact the supervisors:
John Sturzaker, Department of Geography & Planning; [email protected]
Karl Bates, Department of Musculoskeletal Biology; [email protected]
Third supervisor: Paul Grover, Arup
Please apply by sending CV and letter of application to Ms Diane Ashton [email protected]
Training: The University of Liverpool is setting up a Doctoral Network in Technologies for Healthy Ageing to train the next generation of physical scientists and engineers to develop novel technologies and devices to address the challenges faced by older people and our clinical colleagues who work with them. It is structured around three healthy ageing challenges; prolonging independence, maintaining wellness and accelerating recovery.
All students will undertake a specific training programme in conjunction with their research project. A range of training modules have been designed to provide the student cohort with the high levels of scientific knowledge and engineering expertise needed for research and development of devices and technologies appropriate for the Healthy Ageing agenda. Through this approach our students will learn skills that will provide them with a unique advantage to develop technologies appropriate for this community and significantly enhance their employability in this emerging field. At the start of the programme students will have a masterclass session with a consultant in clinical geriatric medicine, a therapist and a social worker to introduce them to the challenges of the older person in the community through case studies. Each student will spend a week with a Consultant Geriatrician in clinics and community visits. This clinician will remain in contact with the student throughout their PhD in the role of a mentor to maintain the interface between their projects and the healthcare challenges. Innovative training sessions will ensure the training and research is grounded in real world challenges and have been constructed to provide Essential Transferable Skills and Subject Broadening Skills. The student will be a member of the Liverpool Doctoral College which provides further training opportunities over all three years of the PGR programme, and includes Inductions (general and safety), E-learning (e.g. Good Research Practice), seminars (presenting as well as attending), outreach opportunities and journal clubs.