Mobility, Mood and Place

Mobility, Mood and Place is a large, multi-disciplinary study exploring how places can be designed collaboratively to make pedestrian mobility easy, enjoyable and meaningful for older people.

OPENspace website projects MMP quick facts 2

What is this research about?

Mobility, Mood and Place (MMP) builds on evidence that how we experience environments influences our mood and, in turn, our willingness to be active.

The project incorporates three research topics, as well as a lively programme of knowledge exchange and stakeholder liaison. The three topics are: Co-created environments (Topic 1); Environment and affect (Topic 2); and Life course of places, health & mobility (Topic 3).

The research involves co-design with a range of participants, including stroke survivors and people with dementia, as well as innovative mobile neuroimaging methods to explore real-time emotional responses to place.

Working with the Lothian Birth Cohorts of people in their late 70s, our research is the first to consider the influence of local environments in which people have lived from childhood.

In February 2017, the project entered a new phase, in which findings and key messages are being shared with audiences in policy, practice, communities, and the not-for-profit sector to drive forward change in age-friendly approaches to place. These year-long activities are funded by an Impact Acceleration Award from the Economic and Social Research Council.

Who is working on Mobility, Mood and Place?

OPENspace research team:

Catharine Ward Thompson (Principal Investigator)
Katherine Brookfield (Project Manager & Research Fellow)
Peter Aspinall (Co-Investigator)
Jenny Roe (Co-Investigator)
Sara Tilley (Research Associate)

Academic partners at the University of Edinburgh:

Edinburgh School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture
Centre for Cognitive Ageing and Cognitive Epidemiology
Geriatric Medicine Unit
Institute of Geography
School of Social and Political Science

Other academic partners:

Heriot-Watt University
Stockholm Environment Institute at the University of York
Institute of Gerontology at King’s College London

Public, policy and not-for-profit partners:

Twenty in total, including Architecture and Design Scotland, NHS Research Scotland, the City Councils of Edinburgh and Manchester, the Landscape Institute , Anderson Bell Christie architects, COSLA, Alzheimer Scotland, Age Scotland, Living Streets Scotland, Sustrans and the international Design for All Foundation.

Impact Acceleration Award activities are partnered by Architecture and Design Scotland, Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland, Design for All Foundation and NHS Lothian.

What academic papers are linked to this research?

To date, there have been 11 academic papers published on this research:

Cherrie, M.P.C., Shortt, N.K., Mitchell, R.J., Taylor, A.M., Redmond, P., Ward Thompson, C., Starr, J.M., Deary, I.J. and Pearce, J. 2017. ‘Green space and cognitive ageing: A retrospective life course analysis in the Lothian Birth Cohort 1936′, Social Science & Medicine 196, 56-65

Neale, C., Aspinall, P., Roe, J., Tilley, S., Mavros, P., Coyne, R., Thin, N., Bennett, G. and Ward Thompson, C. 2017. ‘The Aging Urban Brain: Analyzing Outdoor Physical Activity Using the Emotiv Affectiv Suite in Older People.’, Journal of Urban Health doi:10.1007/s11524-017-0191-9

Scott, I. 2017. ‘Mobility, Mood and Place – Co-Designing Age-Friendly Cities: A Report on Collaborations between Older People and Students of Architecture’, Arts 6(3), 12 doi:10.3390/arts6030012

Tilley, S., Neale, C., Patuano, A. and Cinderby, S. 2017. ‘Older people’s experiences of mobility and mood in an urban environment: a mixed methods approach using electroencephalography (EEG) and interviews’, International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 14(2), 151 doi: 10.3390/ijerph14020151

Brookfield, K., Ward Thompson, C. and Scott, I. 2017. ‘The uncommon impact of common environmental details on walking in older adults’, International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 14(2), 190 doi: 10.3390/ijerph14020190

Brookfield, K. and Tilley, S. 2016. ‘Using Virtual Street Audits to Understand the Walkability of Older Adults’ Route Choices by Gender and Age’, International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 13(11), 1061 doi: 10.3390/ijerph13111061

Pearce, J., Shortt, N., Rind, E. and Mitchell, R. 2016. ‘Life Course, Green Space and Health: Incorporating Place into Life Course Epidemiology’, International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 13(3), 331 doi: 10.3390/ijerph13030331

Brookfield, K. and Mead, G. 2016. ‘Physical environments and community reintegration post stroke: qualitative insights from stroke clubs’, Disability & Society doi: 10.1080/09687599.2016.1223606

Brookfield, K., Tilley, S. and Cox, M. 2016. ‘Informal Science Learning for Older Adults’, Science Communication doi: 10.1177/1075547016655358

Brookfield, K., Fitzsimons, C., Scott, I., Mead, G., Starr, J., Thin, N., Tinker, A. and Ward Thompson, C. 2015. ‘The home as enabler of more active lifestyles among older people’, Building Research & Information doi: 10.1080/09613218.2015.1045702

Aspinall, P., Mavros, P., Coyne, R. and Roe, J. (2013). ‘The urban brain: analysing outdoor physical activity with mobile EEG’ in the British Journal of Sports Medicine doi:10.1136/bjsports-2012-091877

Browse a list of all OPENspace academic papers

Who is funding this research?

Mobility, Mood and Place (MMP) is funded by the cross-council programme, Lifelong Health and Wellbeing, under the theme Design for Wellbeing: Ageing and Mobility in the Built Environment. This theme is led by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) in collaboration with the Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).

EPSRC has previously funded these OPENspace projects on getting outdoors in older age:

The project’s Impact Acceleration Award is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council.

Where can I find out more?

Mobility, Mood and Place (MMP) has its own website.

Visit the Mobility, Mood and Place website

You can download an illustrated, four-page leaflet about the project

Open the leaflet as a pdf

You can also download a short guide to our findings and key messages

Open the leaflet as a pdf

Our fourth intentional conference (11th – 14th October 2016, Edinburgh) shared emerging findings from the research.

> Browse the conference proceedings

Take me back to the section called ‘Research projects’