Employing Participatory Citizen Science Methods to Promote Age-Friendly Environments Worldwide

Article


King, Abby C., King, Diane K., Banchoff, Ann, Solomonov, Smadar, Natan, Ofir Ben, Hua, Jenna, Gardiner, Paul, Rosas, Lisa Goldman, Espinosa, Patricia Rodriguez, Winter, Sandra J., Sheats, Jylana, Salvo, Deborah, Aguilar-Farias, Nicolas, Stathi, Afroditi, Hino, Adriano Akira and Porter, Michelle M.. 2020. "Employing Participatory Citizen Science Methods to Promote Age-Friendly Environments Worldwide." International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 17 (5), pp. 1-30. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17051541
Article Title

Employing Participatory Citizen Science Methods to Promote Age-Friendly Environments Worldwide

ERA Journal ID44293
Article CategoryArticle
AuthorsKing, Abby C. (Author), King, Diane K. (Author), Banchoff, Ann (Author), Solomonov, Smadar (Author), Natan, Ofir Ben (Author), Hua, Jenna (Author), Gardiner, Paul (Author), Rosas, Lisa Goldman (Author), Espinosa, Patricia Rodriguez (Author), Winter, Sandra J. (Author), Sheats, Jylana (Author), Salvo, Deborah (Author), Aguilar-Farias, Nicolas (Author), Stathi, Afroditi (Author), Hino, Adriano Akira (Author) and Porter, Michelle M. (Author)
Journal TitleInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Journal Citation17 (5), pp. 1-30
Number of Pages30
Year2020
PublisherMDPI AG
Place of PublicationSwitzerland
ISSN1660-4601
1661-7827
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17051541
Web Address (URL)https://www.mdpi.com/1660-4601/17/5/1541/htm
Abstract

The trajectory of aging is profoundly impacted by the physical and social environmental contexts in which we live. While “top–down” policy activities can have potentially wide impacts on such contexts, they often take time, resources, and political will, and therefore can be less accessible to underserved communities. This article describes a “bottom–up”, resident-engaged method to advance local environmental and policy change, called Our Voice, that can complement policy-level strategies for improving the health, function, and well-being of older adults. Using the World Health Organization’s age-friendly cities global strategy, we describe the Our Voice citizen science program of research that has specifically targeted older adults as environmental change agents to improve their own health and well-being as well as that of their communities. Results from 14 Our Voice studies that have occurred across five continents demonstrate that older adults can learn to use mobile technology to systematically capture and collectively analyze their own data. They can then successfully build consensus around high-priority issues that can be realistically changed and work effectively with local stakeholders to enact meaningful environmental and policy changes that can help to promote healthy aging. The article ends with recommended next steps for growing the resident-engaged citizen science field to advance the health and welfare of all older adults.

KeywordsAge-friendly environments; Aging; Built environment; Citizen science; Digital health; Health equity; Health promotion; Older adults; Participatory research; WHO
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020339999. Other built environment and design not elsewhere classified
420603. Health promotion
320210. Geriatrics and gerontology
Byline AffiliationsStanford University, United States
JDC Eshel, Israel
University of Queensland
University of the Frontier, Chile
University of Birmingham, United Kingdom
Pontifical Catholic University of Parana, Brazil
University of Manitoba, Canada
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
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