Here you can find all project research results, reports and other outcomes, organised on the basis of the five main axes of research and innovation. Please note that some of the Reports are marked as confidential: for the confidential outcomes, an Abstract is available with an overview of the main research results.
European environmental policy and elderly citizens (WP2)
WP2 investigated how elderly human rights are protected in urban areas and paid attention on how human rights law impacts on the architecture of the city, social life and urban environment. The main result was a public awareness raising on the topic of elderly citizenship and the right to the city together with a coherent analysis of European policies on the issue. The work included a map of the best practices of smart cities in Europe in order to transplant those models in other less-friendly cities of both Europe and outside (i.e the city of Kiev).
2.1 Scientific Paper on European policies for the protection of elderly human rights in urban areas (M18)
2.2 Greener urban areas for more active citizens
2.3 A report to compare different policy approaches (M36)
2.4 Scientific paper on economic model (M40)
2.5 Report on best practices (M40)
Green Building for elderly. Population dynamics and new architectures (WP3)
3.1 Guidelines to develop an innovative certification (M36)
Abstract: Recent demographic statistics indicate that around 12% of the world's population is over sixty years old and that by 2050 the number of people over 60 will represent 21% of the world's population, and most will live in urban areas. The areas of interest on which the planning of urban areas has so far focused have changed over the years; for example, while at the dawn of the urbanization process the needs to be taken into account were defense, fire-fighting and the hygiene and health of inhabited centres, in the last 50-60 years the activities have focused on topics such as economic growth and the levelling of living conditions. For 20 years, the attention of designers and urban planners has shifted to themes such as the environment, women's condition, sustainability, children and young people, the elderly and people with disabilities: it is clear that over the years there has been a growing interest in different categories of the population with an increasing specialization in taking into account their specific needs. To confirm what has just been stated, the role of the World Health Organization, a special UN agency for health, which underlines that it is not possible to achieve the goal of health for all without taking into account age-friendly environments, in fact everyone must have the opportunity to achieve the highest level of health and well-being, regardless of age, gender, cultural background and their wealth and health status. The continual pursuit of human well-being and health must not be detached, however, by considerations concerning the sustainability of the design choices that are accomplished. It refers mainly to cases where the consequences of certain choices can not be appreciated in the immediate, but only after a certain period of time. Therefore, the efforts of the last 30 years on the part of all the actors involved in the advancement of mankind (legislators, economists, designers, scholars) have concentrated on the realization of a "sustainable development". Sustainable development has just turned 45 years, in fact it is in 1972, with the UN Conference on Human Environment, which materializes the idea of sustainable development. The Stockholm Declaration is the first international environmental legislation document that has recognised the right to a healthy environment.
Resource efficiency within the cities: the opportunities of local food supply and urban agriculture (WP4)
Le Marche Region Case Study: social farming for the elderly meets Montessori method of education in Le Marche Region. Le Marche decided to combine social farming for the elderly with the Montessori method of education, developed by the Dr. Maria Montessori, born in Le Marche Region in 1870, through a new Project, started in October 2017 within the ‘Program for Rural Development and Active Ageing 2014-2020’. The Montessori method is used mainly in child-education and it is based on self-directed activity and collaborative play. However, in the last twenty years this method started to become popular as treatment for Alzheimer’ disease and dementia, through an intergenerational system. Le Marche Region decided to merge Montessori principles with social farming benefits in order to promote a successful active ageing of its senior citizens affected by dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
The project supports and funds activities carried out by social farms, based in the Region, that promote social and care services to elderly through intergenerational paths. The purpose is to develop a model of active ageing in both rural and urban areas of Le Marche, in order to pursue inclusion, health, and well-being of mentally-ill elderly. Another important aim is to finance a sort of ‘rural welfare’ made by social farmers, a welfare capable of compensating the lack of public services in certain rural areas.
4.1 Report on the taxonomy of sustainable food (M24)
4.2 Scientific paper on sustainable food and gastronomic cities (M36)
4.3 Scientific paper on legal discipline of urban agriculture (M36)
4.4 Scientific paper on social farming for elderly (M36)
4.5 Report on spatial planning (M36)
Information and language technology for green and healthy behaviour in cities (WP5)
In WP5, we have collected Twitter data in Dutch and English that have allowed us to carry out behavioral analysis of three age groups, that is people under 55, 55-67 and above 67. To this end, we rely on language use and the analysis of the topics present in the tweets as well as the use of hashtags. Special focus has been devoted to the attitude of elderly with respect to nature and sustainable development. The data is also being used to develop a methodology to detect age of twitter users automatically. In addition, we have developed specific software such as the AWARE platform, to collect data from hardware, software and human sensors in order to capture the behavior of older people in the future.
5.1 Report on data collection mobility patterns (M36)
Abstract: Our population is ageing at a fast pace, leading to new challenges and opportunities in all spheres of society. GRAGE project intends to respond to those challenges by analysing and disseminating ideas, that promote inclusive citizenship for the elderly living in the urban settings- from a legal, economic and technological perspective.
Oulu participates in WP5- Information and language technology for green and healthy behaviour in cities. The overall objective of WP5 is to study the use of technology to collect meaningful information on the environmental, physical, social and mobility behaviour in the urban setting. To address these goals, Oulu has first performed an in-depth review summarizing mobile technology adoption trends by the elderly internationally, as the use of mobile technology can offer insights on people’s mobility behaviour in the physical space. In addition, we have developed a tool to facilitate the analysis and visualization of large datasets from social media, shedding a light on people’s behaviour in the online space. Finally, we present a number of case-studies, on how data collected from technological platforms, particularly mobile devices, can act as a proxy for understanding human behavioural patterns, in context with the surrounding environment, and moreover for providing clues on future technology design trends, to better suit the needs of the seniors of the future.
5.2 Report of analysis of data mobility patterns (M47)
Abstract:The ageing trend of the population worldwide brings challenges to all domains of society. The Silver Economy, i.e. the economy of older-adults over 50, if compared with the major global economies, would rank third, right after the US and China . Thus, it is essential to develop tools that allow researchers to gain unprecedented understanding about the needs of the seniors of the future, in order to project and build the industries and markets of tomorrow. GRAGE project gathers an interdisciplinary team of experts ranging from technology, law, economics in academic and non-academic sectors, whose mission is to disseminate ideas, that promote inclusive citizenship for the elderly living in the urban settings. Oulu participates in WP5- Information and language technology for green and healthy behaviour in cities. The overall objective of WP5 is to study the use of technology to collect meaningful information on the environmental, physical, social and mobility behaviour in the urban setting. To address these goals, Oulu presents, for its second deliverable (D5.2.) the main highlights of 5 studies, the first of which, an analysis On the Use of URLs and Hashtags in Age Prediction of Twitter Users. By being able to predict users’ age by the content of their language style on social media platforms, we expect to be able to infer on their behaviour and well-being in the online space, and put forward recommendations on best practices for a healthier and more active lifestyle. We also present an innovative platform- CARE- a tool which assists caretakers with managing and enhancing the elderly’s healthcare needs. We reflect on smartphone design geared towards measuring vital signs, in the case, temperature, which could be a valuable tool for seniors, physiologically more vulnerable to extreme temperatures, in a world increasingly impacted by climate change. Finally, we reflect on the use of crowdsourcing platforms to obtain feedback from society on everyday matters ranging from hobbies and sentiment analysis, to therapeutic solutions to address health conditions, such as low back pain, an increasingly common condition worldwide, specially afflicting seniors, and whose therapeutic approach varies widely. By combining all these contributions, we expect to prompt further ideas, research and innovation platforms on the topic of ICT geared towards seniors’ everchanging needs, in an increasingly urbanised environment.
. Silver Economy. http://www.smartsilvereconomy.eu. Retrieved 19.10.2018
5.3 Report on data collection of social media (M36)
Abstract: In this report, we have presented the methodology to identify old adults in social networks and carry out data collection in order to perform a behavioral analysis to be reported in deliverable 5.4. An analysis of social media data can be revealing to assess the attitudes of various age groups but at the same time it seems relevant to understand whether and what role social networks might have in changing the behaviour of old adults with respect to environmental themes and in supporting their healthy ageing.
In our task, we have focused on Dutch old adults since we have shown on the basis of detailed statistics that the Netherlands are at the forefront for internet and social media use, the adoption includes not only young people but also a growing number of old adults and the elderly population. We have also shown that social networks is the most popular use among social media and for this reason, we have carried out a data collection from Twitter since data on this platform is publicly available.
In addition to data collection from social networks, we have assembled information based on a survey to assess the degree of age-friendliness of cities based on a WHO checklist.
5.4 Report of analysis of data on social media (M47)
Abstract: In this report, we analyse the concept of sustainable development and we have proposed an alternative view based on a philosophical approach, which is rooted in the concepts of frailty and vulnerability: two features that characterize old age. As result, we redefine the relationship between the human and the natural world, as one of co-constitution and reciprocal sustenance and promotion. Therefore, we differ from current views on sustainable development that consider the environmental pillar simply as functional to human wellbeing and welfare. We highlight the importance of a relation between the natural and human world in order to promote reciprocal support in the form of care. We show that the elderly can be regarded as a resource both from a theoretical and a practical perspective and not necessarily as a problem for sustainable development. From a theoretical perspective, our analysis has taken the ageing process as starting point in order to highlight the essential vulnerability of all human beings and not only of the elderly. From a practical perspective, it is important to sustain the potential of human beings, including the elderly, to take care of both other individuals and the natural world, from environmental policies to volunteering activities. We claim that social media can play an important role in this respect through best practices that trigger the involvement of the elderly in care practices of other human beings and especially of nature, contributing actively to sustainable development. We have carried out a behavioral analysis of Twitter data to assess the attitude of the Dutch elderly with respect to environmental issues, given that they are quite active in social media. More specifically, we have investigated the behaviour of three different age groups based on a language analysis, since the use of specific linguistic features changes with age (i.e. pronouns). We have mainly considered the use of hashtags and we have noticed that there are differences in the topics addressed: the elderly use hashtags mainly in relation to leisure and politics while the younger group use them mainly in relation to their working life. Another difference is that while the younger group uses hashtags related to sustainability, this is not the case for the elderly who, however, use location tags indicating an interest for the places they live in. We have carried out a more detailed analysis of this behaviour based on geo-location information to investigate the use of location hashtags and we notice that the elderly use them to promote events and the community they live in. In addition, a closer analysis of hashtags related to sustainability reveals that while the younger groups are mainly interested in the economical perspective, this is not the case for the elderly that are more interested in environmental sustainability. However, they share with the youngest group an interest in nature. We claim that, given their interests, the elderly could play a role in promoting an alternative discourse on sustainable development that can re-create the bond between the environment and human beings. Furthermore, social media can be used to support their interest in nature and promote volunteering activities supporting healthy ageing.
5.5 Report on apps for navigation in cities (M36)
Abstract: The focus of this study is to specifically investigate preference of commuters both pedestrians and cyclists in two contrasting countries: the Netherlands and in Brazil. This study includes a thorough examination of literature to determine features of the urban environments that influence active travel behavior (1–49). Furthermore, a qualitative approach (‘focus groups’) was used to corroborate and elaborate our principal findings specifically from the perspective of commuters.The results will be interpreted for its relevance for the GRAGE-project.
We are interested in people that take partin daily commute. One of the reasons why we are interested in this target group is that the largest distance traveled by car per person per day in the Netherlands is from and to work (http://statline.cbs.nl) and car-use should preferably be reduced for reasons of the environment (ref). The retirement age in the Netherlands is at 65 years old; the retirement age in Brazil is 60 for women and 65 years old for men. The elderly no longer take part in daily commute and are thus excluded from our investigation. Another group we excluded were disabled people, they are a very small minority in the daily commute and there needs could be very specific from case to case, this is outside the scope of this investigation.
The recruitment strategy for the focus groups was to obtain a sample of our commuters. Currently, in São Carlos, Brazil there is only limited infrastructure for pedestrians and cyclists. To be able to discuss the existing and possible future infrastructure it was decided to exclude people with no experience and only include people that either had a positive attitude towards cycling or walkingor were at one point taking part in active commute.
5.6 Report on focus group (M47)
Abstract:The main goal of WP5 is to investigate the role that information and language technology can play in transforming cities into environments that support green and healthy lifestyles for the ageing population. More specifically, the aim is to: 1) assess methods and techniques to capture relevant behavioral data through people’s use of personal technologies; 2) analyze and visualize data to achieve a better understanding of people’s behavior with respect to green and healthy lifestyles (e.g. stimulating physical active behavior by cycling); 3) develop mechanism based on personal technologies to inform citizens on best practices with respect to green and healthy life style. In this context, the aim of task 5.3 is to investigate the use of ICT to support active moving in the city, especially walking and cycling, as well as to analyze the emotions triggered by urban features and different mobility patters on individuals. In Deliverable D5.5 we reported results on a focus group to investigate preference of commuters (both pedestrian and cyclists) in relation to urban environments that influence active travel behavior. In deliverable D5.6, we report on three studies aiming at 1) relating physical activity of old adults to green environments through ICT use, 2) providing a theoretical framework to assess the impact of apps on travel behavior and 3) investigating how travel affects changes in emotional well-being. The first study is particularly relevant since it adds to current literature by using accelerometers and GPS-devices to capture relevant behavioral data related to physical activities in green environments analyzing the ‘old citizens of the future’ (individuals aged between 45-65) in two Dutch cities: Rotterdam and Maastricht. More specifically, it provides insight in the different physical activity behaviours (i.e. according to modality (stationary, walking & jogging, and cycling) and intensity (sedentary behavior, light and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity)) that occurs in different natural environments (i.e. according togreen environments typology and size). Furthermore, it examines the associations of size and type of natural environments, with physical activity intensity and modality. Results indicate that walking, jogging and cycling are facilitated by different types of natural environments and that larger sized natural environments were associated with higher levels of both moderate-to-vigorous physical activity and walking, jogging and cycling. The study has implications for urban planners to make informed decisions about the physical activity behavior they wish to facilitate when designing a green environment.
5.7 Report on user needs on active ageing (M36)
Abstract: As a society, we are facing a huge challenge. The demography of cities is changing as a result of the fact that we live longer and that more of us are becoming older (‘double ageing effect’). An emphasis on active ageing is necessary for individuals to live longer independently and happy. By 2050, the percentage globally of an elderly population is expected to double from 11% (in 2010) to 22%. Europe and North America are the leaders of this trend. Europe has one of the largest elderly populations in the world; 19 of the 20 countries have the oldest populations on earth. Since 2008, the majority of the world’s population live in cities, and this transition from rural to urban living is expected to continue. The interplay of dynamic population and urbanisation has great effects on the implementation of health and social policies.
Over the next two decades, the ongoing demographic shift could put a significant strain on the European economy, society and the sustainability of public finances. More liveable and efficient communities is a target to be reached in Europe, where the “silver hair” trends can become a challenging opportunity, from a social, economic and cultural perspective. Despite those challenges, solutions provided in urban contexts seldom pay attention to the social process underlying urban trends and to the needs and behaviour of elderly citizens. GRAGE contributes to fill this gap, by researching the needs of the users in the context of supporting elderly people to live independently and happy in urban contexts. A focus was on how ‘new’ technologies could facilitate this process and support user needs, and affect the way we live in urban areas.
Healthcare has improved and we are able to stretch out life expectancy: at birth, during life and at the end of life. But this progress comes with "defects". Despite shortcomings, we can lead a full, independent life. We share this under the umbrella term of ‘chronic health’. Thanks to technological developments, we can be more in charge of managing our health and deal with the deficits that come with age. We followed in this project the rather ‘young’ definition of health: “Health as the ability to adapt and self-manage, in the face of social, physical and emotional challenges.” (Huber, 2011). Technologies can support this process of adjusting and directing, but only when they fit the needs of its users to take control of their health.
5.8 Data analysis visualization (M47)
Abstract:This report on the data visualization within WP 5 describes the outcomes of cocreation between Taras University and Waag. The main project themes of GRAGE are green buildings, food and urban agriculture, information and language technology, Furthermore, strengthening the academic and non-academic collaboration is a key feature for GRAGE. Supported by Waag, Petlina presented her studies on oenology, and her insights about winemakers choosing to open up their daily practices to also involve the tourism industry. She also shared how winemaking is increasingly taking place in the urban environment. Furthermore, Petlina gave a brief summary of insight that were shared in het Green & Gray presentation that took place at the open day in September 2018. In looking for a valuable use case together of data visualization together, Petlina explains how scientific data is often presented in a clean and clinical way. Often times, these representations of data fail to be accessible to users who don’t already have familiarity with the scientific norms regarding the representation of data in tables and graphs. In working and sharing insights in the fields of tourism, viticulture and oenology, Petlina sees room for improvement for her and colleagues regarding communication of data based insights to stakeholders. This report reflects the insights that were shared between Taras University and Waag. It has been presented in such a way that it doesn’t become specific for just the case of data of Taras University. Instead, it describes a format for presenting data in a different way, and by doing so, allowing for a more elaborate discussion involving multiple stakeholders.
Europe as a global actor in green and grey business (WP6)