Interrelations of greenspace, climate, and place: Perceptions and life experiences of older people in the Netherlands

  • Rachel Lauwerijssen

Student thesis: Phd


Ageing populations and climate change are two key challenges that cities worldwide are facing. Dutch spatial planning and climate policies have done little to recognize the negative effects of climate change on older people. One possible solution to reduce cities' vulnerability to climate change is for them to invest in greenspace. Given that people perceive and value place, greenspace, and climate differently, policymakers, planners, and researchers face challenges to come up with improved policies and practices in order to secure the liveability of people. How older people should adapt to environmental changes in the Netherlands remains unclear. This thesis explores the extent to which place, greenspace, and climate influence liveability through an investigation of older peoples' life history autopsies, and an analysis of policymakers and practitioners' perspectives pertaining to climate change, liveability and governmental, as well organisational processes that inform future planning practices. The key findings suggest that greenspace facilitates social life, climate experiences, and place attachment and that planned and designed multi-functional and intergenerational should be planned which support the needs of people across life stages. Local-level perceptions and experiences of communities, greenspaces, and climate may hold meaning to protect public space and guidance for local authorities to develop liveable cities. Based on the discussions with older people and experts, this thesis proposes that place research can support social, environmental and climatic interests that maintain the integrity of the urban landscape, promote community bonds and enhance liveability to meet the complex needs of promoting a holistic approach to spatial planning management and liveable, climate resilient cities in the Netherlands. These issues are discussed throughout the thesis, and clear links are made between exploratory place, greenspace and climate research and planning practice.
Date of Award31 Dec 2021
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorIan Mell (Supervisor) & Adam Barker (Supervisor)


  • liveability
  • older people
  • greenspace
  • place
  • climate change

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