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.
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
Helena Aaberg | idw
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