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 The transparent soccer player
05.06.2018 | Technische Universität München

nachricht Illinois researchers researchers find tweeting in cities lower than expected
21.02.2018 | University of Illinois College of Engineering

All articles from Social Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Temperature-controlled fiber-optic light source with liquid core

In a recent publication in the renowned journal Optica, scientists of Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology (Leibniz IPHT) in Jena showed that they can accurately control the optical properties of liquid-core fiber lasers and therefore their spectral band width by temperature and pressure tuning.

Already last year, the researchers provided experimental proof of a new dynamic of hybrid solitons– temporally and spectrally stationary light waves resulting...

Im Focus: Overdosing on Calcium

Nano crystals impact stem cell fate during bone formation

Scientists from the University of Freiburg and the University of Basel identified a master regulator for bone regeneration. Prasad Shastri, Professor of...

Im Focus: AchemAsia 2019 will take place in Shanghai

Moving into its fourth decade, AchemAsia is setting out for new horizons: The International Expo and Innovation Forum for Sustainable Chemical Production will take place from 21-23 May 2019 in Shanghai, China. With an updated event profile, the eleventh edition focusses on topics that are especially relevant for the Chinese process industry, putting a strong emphasis on sustainability and innovation.

Founded in 1989 as a spin-off of ACHEMA to cater to the needs of China’s then developing industry, AchemAsia has since grown into a platform where the latest...

Im Focus: First real-time test of Li-Fi utilization for the industrial Internet of Things

The BMBF-funded OWICELLS project was successfully completed with a final presentation at the BMW plant in Munich. The presentation demonstrated a Li-Fi communication with a mobile robot, while the robot carried out usual production processes (welding, moving and testing parts) in a 5x5m² production cell. The robust, optical wireless transmission is based on spatial diversity; in other words, data is sent and received simultaneously by several LEDs and several photodiodes. The system can transmit data at more than 100 Mbit/s and five milliseconds latency.

Modern production technologies in the automobile industry must become more flexible in order to fulfil individual customer requirements.

Im Focus: Sharp images with flexible fibers

An international team of scientists has discovered a new way to transfer image information through multimodal fibers with almost no distortion - even if the fiber is bent. The results of the study, to which scientist from the Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology Jena (Leibniz IPHT) contributed, were published on 6thJune in the highly-cited journal Physical Review Letters.

Endoscopes allow doctors to see into a patient’s body like through a keyhole. Typically, the images are transmitted via a bundle of several hundreds of optical...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Munich conference on asteroid detection, tracking and defense

13.06.2018 | Event News

2nd International Baltic Earth Conference in Denmark: “The Baltic Sea region in Transition”

08.06.2018 | Event News

ISEKI_Food 2018: Conference with Holistic View of Food Production

05.06.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Graphene assembled film shows higher thermal conductivity than graphite film

22.06.2018 | Materials Sciences

Fast rising bedrock below West Antarctica reveals an extremely fluid Earth mantle

22.06.2018 | Earth Sciences

Zebrafish's near 360 degree UV-vision knocks stripes off Google Street View

22.06.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>