This guest blog was contributed by Matthew John Hargreaves an architecture student at Manchester Metropolitan University.
In 2010, the Valuing Older People team at Manchester City Council was successful in their bid for Manchester to become an Age-Friendly City. Since then they have worked in collaboration with local partners, including architecture students, to develop an understanding of what ‘Age-Friendly’ actually means in relation to the urban context of Manchester. As part of this, VOP have been active in the Manchester Ward of Chorlton to help represent the views of older people in the area, contributing towards the development of the regeneration Action Plan that has been outlined from 2010 to 2020.
With my work, and in line with the philosophy of my unit (called msa-p) at the Manchester School of Architecture, I wanted to develop an architectural project that was as accessible as possible. Accessible not only in terms of the physical design and features of the urban landscape, but accessible in terms of the design process and techniques used to arrive at my final proposals. Inspired by the work carried out by VOP and driven my desire to represent those who are often excluded by architectural design processes and building developments, i.e. older and younger people, I developed architectural proposals in line with the
Chorlton District Centre Regeneration Action Plan as a form of representation, to highlight the needs of these often overlooked or ignored age groups.
My final proposals and architectural ideas therefore can be seen as an interpretation of the Age-Friendly city concept specific to Manchester, and hope to highlight some of the issues faced by younger and older residents in Chorlton with relation to the regeneration of their community. Continue reading