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Personal profile

Research interests

My research explores the impact of ageing on planning, urban design, outdoor spaces, neighbourhoods and housing. My research addresses aspects of health and well-being, social sustainability, age-friendly cities, sense of place, identity and belonging. I work across a range of scales including the street, neighbourhood, and city to examine place-based supports for active and healthy ageing. Much of my research has been transnational in nature, working with academics, practitioners, policy-makers and community groups in the developed and developing world. My methodologies are largely participatory, working with participants as co-researchers and undertaking community mapping, participatory research, and visual methods to undertanding the relationship between person and place. 



I am an Associate Professor in Health and Well-being oin The Urban Institute (TUI) at Heriot-Watt University. Prior to this, I worked at the Gerontology Research Centre, Vancouver, Canada exploring issues of social justice, housing and ageing-in-place. In my research career, I have evaluated urban regeneration programmes in the North-West of England exploring their impact on social and community well-being. I have undertaken research with marginalised and excluded groups including the homeless and socially isolated older adults.

I am currently P-I on two ESRC-funded grant exploring Age Friendly Cities and Communities, undertaking collaborative case study research in cities in UK, Brazil and India (total funding £1.2 million as P-I). The research will develop resources and tools for the development of tools and resources to support older adults to age-in-place.



Roles & Responsibilities

Ryan is Adjunct Professor in Ageing at the Gerontology Research Centre (GRC), Simon Fraser University, Canada. He is also Board Member of the International Society for Gerontechnology (ISG).

Fingerprint Fingerprint is based on mining the text of the person's scientific documents to create an index of weighted terms, which defines the key subjects of each individual researcher.

Long-Term Care Medicine & Life Sciences
community Social Sciences
dialogue Social Sciences
Research Medicine & Life Sciences
Technology Medicine & Life Sciences
Aging of materials Engineering & Materials Science
Biomedical Technology Medicine & Life Sciences
Caregivers Medicine & Life Sciences

Co Author Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Research Output 2005 2018

Contextual factors for aging well: Creating socially engaging spaces through the use of deliberative dialogues

Canham, S. L., Fang, M. L., Battersby, L., Woolrych, R., Sixsmith, J., Ren, T. H. & Sixsmith, A. 18 Jan 2018 In : Gerontologist. 58, 1, p. 140-148 9 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access

Exploring the potential of smart cities in the design of age-friendly urban environments

Woolrych, R., Sixsmith, J., Makita, M., Fisher, J. & lawthom, R. 2018 In : Gerontechnology. 17, supplement, p. 67s 1 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting abstract

Open Access

Projetando lugares com idosos: uma análise da produção acadêmica nacional

Pereira, G., Portella, A., Sopeña, S., Chiarelli, L., Correa, C., Costa, T., Libardoni, T., Medvedoski, N. S., Woolrych, R. & Sixsmith, J. 2018 In : Pixo. 2, 4, p. 98-119

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access

Ageing Well in the Right Place: Partnership Working with Older People

Sixsmith, J., Fang, M. L., Woolrych, R., Canham, S. L., Battersby, L. & Sixsmith, A. 2017 In : Working with Older People. 21, 1, p. 40-48 9 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
service provider
low income

Delivering age-friendly environments: Social justice & rights to the city

Woolrych, R. Mar 2017 Scottish Planner, 169, March, p. 10-11 2 p.

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationFeatured article