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Durham University

Department of Geography

News Archive

Professor Sarah Curtis awarded a £713K grant from the EPSRC to investigate Built Infrastructure for Older People in Conditions of Climate Change

(25 March 2009)

The research will be conducted by a multidisciplinary team in two institutions; based at Durham University (led by Professor Sarah Curtis, the Principal Investigator) and at Heriot-Watt University (led by Dr Dimitry Val). To tackle this complex problem, our group combines world class expertise in engineering, climate modelling, social and geographical science and health and health care research: other members of the team are Dr Roland Burkhard at Heriot-Watt; Professor Lena Dominelli, Durham University, and Drs Sim Reaney, Ralf Ohlemüller, Mylene Riva, Christine Dunn, Jonathan Erskine at Durham; and advisory input from Professor Mark Stewart at University of Newcastle, Australia (UoN-AU) and Karen Bickerstaff from Kings College London. We will also employ three research assistants and will draw on an extensive international network of other advisors representing a wide range of stakeholder groups.

Our project complements and extends other recent studies in this field by focusing especially on infrastructure that is important for older people, considering rural as well as urban settings, and involving stakeholders as participants in the research. We will be developing a ‘toolkit’ for an approach which can be adapted to a wide range of different settings. Also our findings will have local relevance in our study areas, and we will also be able to identify other areas across the UK, where similar conditions may apply. Our research has practical international relevance for planning and policy and will contribute to theoretical debates about the social and physical determinants of risk for older people’s health and social care in the face of climate change.