How do unfamiliar environments convey meaning to older people? Urban dimensions of placelessness and attachment

Main Article Content

Judith Phillips
Nigel Walford
Ann Hockey

Abstract

The discussion within gerontology of the relationship between older people and their environment (place attachment and ageing in place in particular) has been based on an assumption of familiarity with place. Yet increasingly older people experience unfamiliar environments. This can be through increased travelling as tourists and visitors to other towns and cities, through redevelopment of town centres or through cognitive decline, where the familiar becomes unfamiliar. This article reviews the conceptual frameworks underpinning the concepts of place attachment and unfamiliarity and questions the relevance of such concepts for understanding urban lifestyles in later life. We demonstrate that even in an unfamiliar environment older people can develop a sense of place through the aesthetics and usability of the environment as well as through shared memories. Consequently this has relevance for how we plan our environments to make them age-friendly.

Metrics

Metrics Loading ...

Article Details

Section
Articles

References

Agnew, J. (2005). Space: Place. In P. Cloke and R. Johnson (eds.), Spaces of Geographical Thought (pp. 81–96). London: Sage.


Augé, M. (1992). Non-Places: Introduction to an Anthropology of Supermodernity. London: Verso.


Boldy, D. (2009). Ageing in place in the UK: Issues for policy and practice. Paper presented at Conference on Ageing Landscapes, The Australian Association on Gerontology, Freemantle, November.


Bonaiuto, M., Aiello, A., Perugini, M., Bonnes, M. & Ercolani, A. P. (1999). Multidimensional perception of residential environment quality and neighbourhood attachment in the urban environment. Journal of Environmental Psychology 19: 331–352. doi: 10.1006/jevp.1999.0138


Bonvalet, C. & Ogg, J. (2007). Ageing in inner cities: The residential dilemmas of the baby boomer generation. International Journal of Ageing and Later Life 2(2): 61–90. doi: 10.3384/ijal.1652-8670.072261


Brorsson, A., Öhman, A., Lundberg, S. & Nygård, L. (2011). Accessibility in public space as perceived by people with Alzheimer’s disease. Dementia 10(4): 587–602. doi: 10.1177/1471301211415314


Brown, B., Perkins, D. & Brown, G. (2003). Place attachment in a revitalized neighbourhood: Individual and block level analysis. Journal of Environmental Psychology 23: 259–271. doi: 10.1016/S0272-4944(02)00117-2


Burholt, V. (2006). ’’Adref’’: Theoretical contexts of attachment to place for mature and older people in rural North Wales. Environment and Planning A 38: 1095–1114. doi: 10.1068/a3767


Chapman, S. & Peace, S. (2008). Rurality and ageing well: ’’A long time here.’’ In N. Keating (ed.), Rural ageing: A good place to grow old? (pp. 21–32). Bristol: Policy Press.


Chatzitheochari, S. & Arber, S. (2011). Identifying the third agers: An analysis of british retirees’ leisure pursuits. Social Research Online 16(4): 3.


Cohen, E. (1972). Towards a sociology of international tourism. Social Research 39(1): 164–82.


Couclelis, H., Golledge, R., Gale, N. & Tobler, W. (1987). Exploring the anchor- point hypothesis of spatial cognition. Journal of Environmental Psychology 7(2): 99–122. doi: 10.1016/S0272-4944(87)80020-8


Cuba, L. & Hummon, D. M. (1993a). A place called home: Identification with dwelling, community and region. The Sociological Quarterly 34: 111–131. doi: 10.1111/j.1533-8525.1993.tb00133.x


Cuba, L. J. & Hummon, D. M. (1993b). Constructing a sense of home: Place affiliation and migration across the life cycle. Sociological Forum 8: 547–570. doi: 10.1007/BF01115211


Dann, G. (2000). ’’Unfamiliarity’’. In J. Jafari (ed.), Encyclopedia of Tourism (pp. 611). Oxford: Routledge.


Department of Communities and Local Government. (2008). Lifetime Homes Lifetime Neighbourhoods: A National Strategy for Housing in an Ageing Society. London: DCLG.


Duggan, S., Blackman, T., Martyr, A. & Van Schaik, P. (2008). The impact of early dementia on outdoor life: A ’shrinking world’? Dementia 7(2): 191–204. doi: 10.1177/1471301208091158


Fleury-Bahi, G., Félonneau, M-L. & Marchand, D. (2008). Processes of place identification and residential satisfaction. Environment and Behavior 40: 669–682. doi: 10.1177/0013916507307461


FUTURES (2007). FUTURES: Navigating the city supporting the unfamiliar traveller. Research briefing sheet 006, Centre for Transport and Society, Bristol University, UK. Available on http://www.transport.uwe.ac.uk/ (Accessed: December 27, 2011).


Gieryn, T. F. (2000). A space for place in sociology. Annual Review of Sociology 26: 463–496. doi: 10.1146/annurev.soc.26.1.463


Giuliani, M. V. (1991). Towards an analysis of mental representations of attachment to the home. Journal of Architectural Planning Research 8: 133–146.


Golant, S. M. (2003). Conceptualizing time and space in environmental gerontology: A pair of old issues deserving new thought. The Gerontologist 43(5): 638–648. doi: 10.1093/geront/43.5.638 PMid:14570960


Fried, M. (2000). Continuities and discontinuities of place. Journal of Environmental Psychology 20(3): 193–205. doi: 10.1006/jevp.1999.0154


Harris, P., Brown, B. & Werner, C. (1996). Privacy regulation and place attachment: Predicting attachments to a student family housing faculty. Journal of Environmental Psychology 16(4): 287–301. doi: 10.1006/jevp.1996.0025


Hart, R. (1979). Children’s Experience of Place. New York: Irvington. Hay, R. (1998). Sense of place in developmental context. Journal of Environmental Psychology 18(5): 29.


Hernández, B., Hidalgo, M., Salazar-Laplace, E. & Hess, S. (2007). Place Attachment and place identity in natives and non-natives. Journal of Environmental Psychology 27: 310–319. doi: 10.1016/j.jenvp.2007.06.003


Hummon, D. M. (1992). Community attachment. Local sentiment and sense of place. In I. Altman & S. M. Low (eds.), Place Attachment (pp. 253–277). New York & London: Plenum Press.


Iwarsson, S. & Sta°hl, A. (2003). Accessibility, usability and universal design Positioning and definition of concepts describing person-environment relationships. Disability and Rehabilitation 25(2): 57–66.


Keating, N. (ed.). (2008). Rural Ageing: A Good Place to Grow Old? Bristol: Policy Press.


Kyle, G., Graefe, A., Manning, R. & Bacon, J. (2003). An examination of the relationship between leisure activity involvement and place attachment among hikers along the Appalachian Trail. Journal of Leisure Research 35: 249–273.


Lawton, M. P. & Nahemow, L. (1973). Ecology and the ageing process. In C. Eisdorpher & M. P. Lawton (eds.), Psychology and Adult Development and Aging (pp. 619–674). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association. doi: 10.1037/10044-020


Lawton, M. P (1977). An ecological theory of aging applied to elderly housing. Journal of Aging and Environment 31(1): 8–10.


Lawton, M. P. (1980). Environment and Aging. Belmont, CA: Brookes-Cole. Lawton, M. P. (1985). The elderly in context: Perspectives from environmental psychology and gerontology. Environment and Behaviour 17(4): 501–519. doi: 10.1177/0013916585174005


Lawton, M. P. (2001). The physical environment of the person with Alzheimer’s disease. Ageing and Mental Health 5(1): 556–64.


Lewicka, M. (2010). What makes neighbourhood different from home and city? Effects of place scale on place attachment. Journal of Environmental Psychology 30: 35–51. doi: 10.1016/j.jenvp.2009.05.004


Lewicka, M. (2005). Ways to make people active: The role of place attachment, cultural capital, and neighbourhood ties. Journal of Environmental Psychology 25(4): 381–395. doi: 10.1016/j.jenvp.2005.10.004


Lynch, K. (1960). The Image of the City. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.


Massey, D. (1994). Spatial Divisions of Labour: Social Structure and the Geography of Production. London: Methuen.


Miles, S. (2010). Spaces for Consumption. London: Sage.


Mitchell, L. & Burton, E. (2006). Neighbourhoods for life: Designing dementia-friendly outdoor environments. Quality in Ageing-Policy, Practice and Research 7: 26–33.


Moore, R. (1986). Childhoods Domain. London: Croom Helm.


Morgan, P. (2010). Towards a developmental theory of place attachment. Journal of Environmental Psychology 30: 11–22. doi: 10.1016/j.jenvp.2009.07.001


Newton, R. A. & Ormerod, M. G. (2008). Towards lifetime neighbourhoods: Improving footways for older people. International Journal of Neighbourhood Renewal 1(1): 44–56.


Oswald, F. & Wahl, H-W. (2005). Dimensions on the meaning of home. In G. Rowles & H. Chaudhary (eds.), Coming Home: International Perspectives on Place, Time and Identity in Old Age (pp. 21–46). New York: Springer.


Peace, S., Holland, C. & Kellaher, L. (2006). Environment and Identity in Later Life. Maidenhead: Open University Press.


Peace, S., Holland, C. & Kellaher, L. (2011). ’’Option recognition’’ in later life: Variations in ageing in place. Ageing and Society 31(5): 734–757. doi: 10.1017/S0144686X10001157


Phillips, J. (2012). Older people’s use of unfamiliar space. In G. Rowles& M. Bernard (eds.), Environmental Gerontology: Making Meaningful Places in Old Age. New York: Springer.


Phillips, J., Walford, N., Foreman, N., Hockey, A. & Lewis, M. (2009). Older People’s Use of Unfamiliar Space. NDA Findings 4. Sheffield: Sheffield University.


Phillipson, C. (2003). Globalisation and the future of ageing: Developing a critical gerontology. Social Research Online 8(4). Available on http://www.socresonline.org.uk/8/4/Phillipson.html (Accessed: February 15, 2012).


Phillipson, C., Bernard, M., Phillips, J. & Ogg, J. (2001). The Family and Community Life of Older People. London: Routledge.


Proshansky, H., Abbe, F. & Kaminoff, R. (1983). Place identity: Physical world socialization of the self. Journal of Environmental Psychology 3. 57–83. doi: 10.1016/S0272-4944(83)80021-8


Relph, E. (1976). Place & Placelessness. London: Pion.


Rowles, G., Oswald, F. & Hunter, E. (2004). Interior living environments in old age. In H.-W.Wahl, R. Scheidt & P.Windley (eds.), Aging in Context: Socio-Physical Environments (Annual Review of Gerontology and Geriatrics 23) (pp. 167–194) New York: Springer.


Rowles, G. (2008). Place in occupational science: A lifecourse perspective on the role of environmental context in the quest for meaning. Journal of Occupational Science 15(3): 127–135. doi: 10.1080/14427591.2008.9686622


Rowles, G. (1983). Geographical dimensions of social support in rural Appalacia. In G. Rowles & R. Ohta (eds.), Aging and Milieu: Environmental Perspectives on Growing Old (pp. 111–130). New York: Academic Press.


Rowles, G. D. (1978). Prisoners of Space? Exploring the Geographical Experience of Older People (reprint edition 1980, pp. 216). Boulder, CO: Westview Press.


Rowles, G. &Watkin, J. (2003). History, habit, heart and hearth: On making spaces into places. In K. Schaie, H.-W. Wahl, H. Mollenkopf& F. Oswald (eds.), Ageing Independently: Living Arrangements and Mobility (pp. 77–96) New York: Springer.


Rubenstein, R. & Parmerlee, P. (1992). Attachment to place and representations of the lifecourse by the elderly. In I. Altman & S. Low (eds.), Human Behaviour and Environment (12) (pp. 139–163). New York: Plenum Press.


Scharf, T., Phillipson, C. & Smith, A. (2003). Older people’s perceptions of the neighbourhood: Evidence from socially deprived urban areas. Sociological Review Online 8(4). Available on http://www.socresonline.org.uk/8/4/ scharf.html (Accessed: February 15, 2012).


Scheidt, R. & Norris-Baker, C. (2004). The general ecological model revisited: Evolution, current status and continuing challenges. In H.-W. Wahl, R. Scheidt & P. G. Windley (eds.), Aging in Context: Sociophysical Environments (Annual Review of Gerontology and Geriatrics 23) (pp. 34–59). New York: Springer.


Schutz, A. (1944). The stranger: An essay in social psychology. American Journal of Sociology 49(6): 499–507. doi: 10.1086/219472


Seamon, D. & Sowers, J. (2008). Place and placelessness, Edward Relph. In P. Hubbard, R. Kitchen & G. Valentine (eds.), Key Texts in Human Geography (pp. 43–51) London: Sage.


Setterstein, R. (1999). Lives in Time and Place: The Problems and Promises of Developmental Sciences. New York: Baywood Publishing.


Sheehan, B., Burton, E. & Mitchell, L. (2006). Outdoor wayfinding in dementia. Dementia 5(2): 271–281. doi: 10.1177/1471301206062254


Shoval, N., Wahl, H.-W., Austlander, G., Isaccson, M., Oswald, F., Edry, T., Landau, R. & Heinik, J. (2011). Use of the global positioning system to measure the out of home mobility of older adults with differing cognitive functioning. Ageing and Society 31: 849–869. doi: 10.1017/S0144686X10001455


Sugiyama, T. &Ward Thompson, C. (2007). Older people’s health, outdoor activity and supportiveness of neighbourhood environments. Landscape and Urban Planning 83: 168–175. doi: 10.1016/j.landurbplan.2007.04.002


Smith, A. (2009). Ageing in Urban Neighbourhoods: Place Attachment and Social Exclusion. Bristol: Policy Press.


Thies, S. B., Kenney, L. P. J., Howard, D., Nester, C., Ormerod, M., Newton, R., Baker, R., Faruk, M. & MacLennan, H. (2011). Biomechanics for inclusive urban design: Effects of tactile paving on older adults’ gait when crossing the street. Journal of Biomechanics. DOI: 10.1016/ j.jbiomech.2010.12.016.


Tuan, Y.-F. (1974). Space and place: Humanistic perspective. Progress in Human Geography 6: 211–252.


Tuan, Y.-F. (1977). Space and Place: The Perspective of Experience. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.


Twigger-Ross, C. & Uzzell, D. L. (1996). Place and identity processes. Journal of Environmental Psychology 16: 139–169. doi: 10.1006/jevp.1996.0017


Van Hoof, J. & Kort, H. (2009). Supportive living environments. A first concept of a dwelling designed for older adults with dementia. Dementia 8(2): 293–316. doi: 10.1177/1471301209103276


Wahl, H.-W. & Lang, F. (2004). Aging in context across the adult life course: Integrating physical and social environmental research perspectives. In H.-W. Wahl, R. Scheidt & P. Windley (eds.), Aging in Context: Socio-Physical Environments (Annual Review of Gerontology and Geriatrics 23) (pp. 1–34). New York: Springer.


Weissman, G. (2003). Creating places for people with dementia: An action research perspective. In K. Schaie, H.-W. Wahl, H. Mollenkopf& F. Oswald (eds.), Ageing Independently: Living Arrangements and Mobility (pp. 162–173). New York: Springer.


Williams, D. R. & Roggenbuck, J. W. (1989). Measuring place attachment: Some preliminary results. In L. H. McAvoy & D. Howard (eds.), Abstracts of the 1989 Leisure Research Symposium (pp. 32). Arlington, VA: National Recreation and Park Association.