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Older people in unfamiliar environments: Assimilating a multi-disciplinary literature to a planning problem


  • Martin Spaul
  • Ann Hockey


This article considers aspects of the assimilation of academic research to town planning guidelines and policies, in particular research conducted in terms, and with methodologies, remote from practical town planning processes. It grew out of an interdisciplinary project examining the experience of older people in unfamiliar spaces, and drew on a wide literature dealing with spatial experience from a range of perspectives. The project sought to retrieve a set of outcomes from the interdisciplinary environment of enquiry for use in the town planning process, requiring the translation of a complex knowledge base to a clear framework, and raising issues about how the richness and diversity of the original research might be preserved during this process. The article concludes that the straightforward translation of knowledge from a range of disciplines into practical policy outcomes cannot reasonably be achieved without a re-consideration of the scope of policy-related discourse.

Suggested Citation

  • Martin Spaul & Ann Hockey, 2011. "Older people in unfamiliar environments: Assimilating a multi-disciplinary literature to a planning problem," Local Economy, London South Bank University, vol. 26(4), pages 236-245, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:loceco:v:26:y:2011:i:4:p:236-245

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