Participatory experiences supporting more healthy and active cities. the research-intervention “Anziani&Città”
This contribution investigates the complex and multifaceted relationships and factors of influence between the aging process of the so-called “urban seniors” and the physical and perceptive characteristics of the city. By developing an ecological model of aging based on the evidence of interdisciplinary scientific research, Urbanism is intended as a fundamental preventive discipline capable of greatly improving people’s quality of life, while contributing to the maintenance of health, sociality and overall autonomy. Supporting this theoretical framework, the outcomes of the qualitative research-intervention Anziani&Città are presented: a work by CITERlab financed in 2018 by the Emilia-Romagna region with the aim of developing and testing a three-phase participatory process with groups of senior citizens in different cities and neighborhoods, investigating the multiple relations between the urban built environment and the elderly’s quality of life: their health, practiced levels of health-enhancing physical activity and active mobility, perception of safety and urban accessibility.