Public places and age

Authored by: Caroline Holland

Routledge Handbook of Cultural Gerontology

Print publication date:  June  2015
Online publication date:  June  2015

Print ISBN: 9780415631143
eBook ISBN: 9780203097090
Adobe ISBN: 9781136221033


 Download Chapter



Public places come in many shapes and sizes, from the rolling open spaces of national parks to the intimate courtyards in which neighbours share daily life. They are sites of observation and interaction between unrelated strangers, and places where people can greet friends and acquaintances. Studies of the role of place in the lives of older people stretch from macro- to micro-level analyses, including geographies of demographic change (for example global patterns of population ageing); environmental psychology (for example the meaning of home; place attachment); and social policy (for example developments in age-specific housing-with-care). Broadly, public spaces include the electronic and institutional as well as the physical (Low and Smith, 2006), and access to them reflects the gradation within the domestic house from back (intimate) to front (presentational) areas: differing by time, the attitude of landowners, and the status of those present. Madanipour (1999) defined physical public space as those areas within towns, cities and the countryside that are physically accessible to everyone, where strangers and citizens can enter with few restrictions. In this chapter the focus is on physical public places, in particular green and built urban spaces and the ‘spaces between buildings’ in which everyday public life happens.

Search for more...
Back to top

Use of cookies on this website

We are using cookies to provide statistics that help us give you the best experience of our site. You can find out more in our Privacy Policy. By continuing to use the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.