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Older People, Outdoor Access and Quality of Life

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  • Inclusive Design
  • Older People
  • Outdoors
  • Perception
  • Design


This is part of an ongoing, multidisciplinary, collaborative project – Inclusive Design for Getting Outdoors (I’DGO) - aimed at identifying the most effective ways of ensuring the outdoor environment is designed inclusively to improve quality of life for older people. It takes a user-led approach to exploring the perception and importance of outdoor environments and the design features of landscape and natural elements, in particular. Initial findings from focus groups and semi-structured interviews will be presented, working with older people from ethnic minorities, those aged 75+, and those with visual impairment, hearing impairment, and mobility impairment. The approach uses projective techniques and draws on work by Canter (1977), Ward Thompson (1998) and others which have demonstrated that there are three important aspects to engagement with place: physical qualities of the place, activities and behaviour in that place, and beliefs, emotions and perceptions about that place.

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