Going along with older people: exploring age‑friendly neighbourhood design through their lens

Sidse Carroll, Astrid Pernille Jespersen, Jens Troelsen

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelpeer review


Neighbourhoods are extremely important to older people, as this is where a great deal of
their everyday life is spent and where social interaction happens. This is particularly the
case in deprived neighbourhoods, where people with limited economic resources or physical
limitations find it challenging to venture outside the neighbourhood. A growing body of
research suggests studying age-friendly neighbourhoods from a bottom-up approach which
takes the diversity of the age group into account. This paper aims to investigate how the
go-along method can serve to co-construct knowledge about age-friendly neighbourhood
design in a deprived neighbourhood of Copenhagen with a diverse group of older people.
Sixteen go-along interviews were carried out with older people aged 59–90. The participants
took on an expert role in their own everyday life and guided the researcher through
the physical and social environments of their neighbourhood. The go-alongs were documented
with a GoPro camera. The data was analysed using situational analysis and was
grouped into thematic categories. Our findings conclude that social interaction is the overall
motivator for going outdoors and that dimensions of pavements, the seating hierarchy,
the purpose of lawns, sheltered spaces and ‘unauthorised’ places are all neighbourhood
design elements that matter in this regard. The findings suggest to consider age-friendly
details as the starting point for social interaction, to target the appropriate kind of agefriendly
programs and to enhance empowerment through physical spaces. The go-along
interview as a research method holds the potential for empowering older people and appreciating
their diversity.
TidsskriftJournal of Housing and the Built Environment
StatusUdgivet - 13 aug. 2019


  • Age-friendly neighbourhoods
  • Empowerment
  • Go-along interviews
  • Neighbourhood design
  • Older people
  • Social interaction

Kunstnerisk udviklingsvirksomhed (KUV)

  • Nej