Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Senior citizens as co-researchers to improve urban planning

02.11.2011
Heavy carrier bags and a lurching bus are an equation that is difficult to solve for most people, but for an elderly person getting the shopping home on public transport can be an almost insurmountable task.

A newly launched research project at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, is now enlisting the help of the senior citizens themselves to learn about the challenges in everyday logistics, and it is hoped that the results will lead to better urban planning.

The sustainable city of the future should be car-free, pleasant to live in and attractive to tourists. This is difficult to accomplish,especially because planners often forget that consumers rarely move around the city empty-handed. It is not easy to reconcile the transporting of goods with the car-free city, especially for elderly people, who are no longer able to carry heavy items.

“In the Consumer Logistics project we claim that this form of consumer logistics is a forgotten aspect of urban planning. We consider it a good starting point, for improved consumer logistics for the elderly, to look at how senior citizens deal with their daily logistics, what kind of problems they face and what ideas they have for improvements,” says Helene Brembeck, Professor of Ethnology at the Centre for Consumer Science (CFK) at the University of Gothenburg.

In an ethnographic part of a larger study, a number of senior citizens in Gothenburg will therefore be recruited as co-researchers for a few weeks this autumn. Co-research is a method the Centre for Consumer Science at the University of Gothenburg has considerable positive experience of.

“We have co-researched with consumers of all ages. Co-research is based on the view that the consumers themselves are experts in their own everyday lives and that research has much to gain from involving people in the research process on equal terms,” says Professor Brembeck.

The co-researchers’ share in the project consists of four elements. At a first meeting researchers and co-researchers get to know one another and the co-researchers are given a consumer diary in which they are asked to record and comment on their daily shopping for a week. They are also asked to photograph the handbags or carrier bags they use and to answer a number of questions. On the second and third meetings the researchers accompany the co-researches through their shopping landscape, both in everyday shopping and in making large purchases. Finally all the co-researchers meet in a group session to discuss together and on the basis of the collected material how everyday logistics could be made easier and more sustainable. The co-researchers consequently also contribute to analysis and results.

The study forms part of the Consumer Logistics project, in which researchers from the University of Gothenburg, together with researchers from Toulouse in France and Manchester in the United Kingdom, are studying how people of different ages transport their everyday shopping home in the three cities. People who have an impact on urban development in their work, for example town planners and shopping centre and public transport managers, are also taking part in the project.

The project began in January this year, and is expected to be completed in the spring of 2013.

“It will be very exciting to analyse all the information our senior citizens will provide us with. And we hope our results will take us one step further in making it possible to create cities that are sustainable while also working well as places to live, for both young and old.”

For more information, please contact: Professor Helene Brembeck
Telephone: +46 (0)31–786 58 28
E-mail: helene.brembeck@cfk.gu.se

Helena Aaberg | idw
Further information:
http://www.gu.se

More articles from Social Sciences:

nachricht Amazingly flexible: Learning to read in your thirties profoundly transforms the brain
26.05.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Kognitions- und Neurowissenschaften

nachricht Fixating on faces
26.01.2017 | California Institute of Technology

All articles from Social Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Salmonella as a tumour medication

HZI researchers developed a bacterial strain that can be used in cancer therapy

Salmonellae are dangerous pathogens that enter the body via contaminated food and can cause severe infections. But these bacteria are also known to target...

Im Focus: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event

On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

3rd Symposium on Driving Simulation

23.10.2017 | Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Single nanoparticle mapping paves the way for better nanotechnology

24.10.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A quantum spin liquid

24.10.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Antibiotic resistance: a strain of multidrug-resistant Escherichia coli is on the rise

24.10.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>