Out-of-home mobility and health in old age in the context of vulnerability and resilience in urban areas (amore)
Staying mobile in old age is a key determinant of social participation and the maintenance of autonomy, health, and quality of life. In the course of demographic changes in Western societies, the importance of this topic intensifies with respect to very old age. The development and consolidation of car-dependent settlement structures, as well as climatological conditions, air pollution, noise impacts, and perceived insecurity in public spaces can negatively affect out-of-home mobility – especially walking by foot. Socio-economic and socio-spatial inequalities potentially increase age-based disadvantages even more. In this regard, older citizens primarily represent a vulnerable group. Therefore, the question is what indicators and patterns of resilience and vulnerability can be identified on the level of the person and the living environment in the context of out-of-home mobility in old age.
The project amore builds upon the cooperation between the interdisciplinary ageing research (Goethe University Frankfurt, Germany) and the ILS - Research Institute for Regional and Urban Development (Dortmund, Germany) from the previous project autonomMOBIL. Data and findings from the dissertations of Kerstin Conrad (ILS) und Susanne Penger (FFIA) are used, continued and complemented. The project deepens the field of tension with respect to person and environment-related risk and protective factors in order to stay mobile in old age by also taking climatic impacts into account. Thereby, we examine complex interactions with the physical and mental health at the interface of person-environment exchange processes.
The objectives of amore are therefore (1) to use existing data for further scientific publications by simultaneously integrating the scientific concepts of vulnerability and resilience, (2) to hold an interdisciplinary workshop with experts from practice and science, and (3) to apply for a comprehensive follow-up project on this topic. In addition to behavioral factors, we also focus on environmental determinants that hinder or foster out-of-home mobility in old age and work out evidence-based and application-oriented solutions in order to increase the quality of living in future urban spaces at any age.