Involving socially excluded groups in age-friendly programs: The role of a spatial lens and co-production approaches.

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Despite the identification of social inclusion as a key objective of age-friendly policies and programs, there is limited research evidence as to either the extent to which this has been achieved or how it might be realised. Gaps remain in our understanding of how age-friendly programs might involve different groups of older people and the possible barriers that might be encountered. This paper seeks to address this gap by drawing on evidence from the Ambition for Ageing program in Greater Manchester, UK, which implemented a range of projects designed to tackle social isolation in later life. The paper argues that due to its co-production approach and spatial lens, Ambition for Ageing was able to involve sections of the older population that otherwise might have remained excluded. In providing further insights relevant to age-friendly programs, the paper also considers some of the barriers experienced by the Ambition for Ageing program and builds a case that taking a spatial justice perspective to age-friendly work may help identify and overcome obstacles to achieving social inclusion.

Key Words: Social exclusion, co-production, age-friendly, neighborhood, place, spatial justice

Key Points
• Spatial justice perspectives in age-friendly work help identify obstacles to social inclusion.
• Co-production must be accompanied by support and resources to avoid replicating inequalities.
• A spatial lens allows for different geographies of exclusion to become visible.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Aging and Social Policy
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • ageing
  • age-friendly community
  • social exclusion
  • social inequality
  • older people
  • co-production
  • co-creation
  • ageing in place

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Global inequalities
  • Policy@Manchester
  • Sustainable Futures
  • Cathie Marsh Institute


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