Participatory Design/Action Planning

Manchester Age-Friendly Neighbourhoods (MAFN) was a practice-led research programme that aimed to address the barriers that people face in their daily lives and providing more ways for people to contribute to their communities. It was based on the World Health Organisation ‘age-friendly cities’ model, which calls for policy-makers, practitioners and older residents to come together in defining and addressing the needs and aspirations of specific communities. Over four years, we help develop and support age-friendly neighbourhood partnership across four areas of Manchester; Burnage, Hulme and Moss Side, Miles Platting and Moston.

Developing an ‘Action Plan

Developed through a series of participatory methodologies in collaboration with local residents and institutional partners, we helped develop action plans in each neighbourhood. These were a spatial representation of older people’s lived experiences, providing both robust evidence for action and a catalogue of ideas developed by the community. The action plan consists of spatial census data, urban design analysis, action planning workshops and neighbourhood survey data, informed by 4800 interactions with local people and other stakeholders.

Funding Small Projects

Each partnership was provided with a resident investment fund to support the development of small projects (usually less than £2000), which could be used to enact their vision of an age-friendly community. These projects were developed by local residents, with projects supported, reviewed and agreed by a resident-led board in each area. Over £300,000 of investments were distribute to 110 community projects over the course of the programme.

Creating new relationships between organisations and older people

The purpose of a partnership approach is to enable new relationships and connections to occur, allowing individuals to affect each other in ways not currently possible. The aim is to generate systemic change, in which new relationships between actors are able to change how services are created and delivered.

Project Details


Manchester, UK

Project Start Date


Project End Date



National Lottery Community Fund / Ambition for Ageing


Southway Housing Trust and 26 community organisations across Manchester

Research Outputs

Book Chapters

Hammond, M., White, S., Christopher, P., 2020. 'From Precarity to Interdependence: The Role of Age-friendly Communities in Promoting Wellbeing in Excluded Communities'. In Bokyo, C., Cooper, R., Dunn, N. (eds.) Designing Future Cities for Wellbeing, Routledge.

White, S., Hammond, M., 2019. 'From representation to active ageing in a Manchester neighbourhood: designing the age-friendly city'. In Buffel, T., Handler, S., Phillipson, C. (eds.) Age-friendly Cities and Communities A Global Perspective, Policy Press.

White, S., 2017. 'Including Architecture: What difference can we make?'. In Boys, J. (eds.) Disability, Space, Architecture: A Reader, Routledge, London.


Hammond, M., White, S., Crompton, E., Youngson,, M., Wells, J., Wong, K., 2017. 'Manchester Age-Friendly Neighbourhoods: State of the Project', Manchester Metropolitan University.

Conference Papers

White, S., Hammond, M., 2018. 'What does an age-friendly spatial framework look like? Understanding and Creating Age-Friendly Regions, Cities, Neighbourhoods and Homes in Greater Manchester', British Society of Gerontology conference, Manchester, UK, 4/7/2018 - 6/7/2018.

Project Staff

Emily Crompton
Emily Crompton Senior Lecturer View profile
Dr Mark Hammond
Dr Mark Hammond Senior Lecturer View profile
Professor Stefan White
Professor Stefan White Professor of Architecture View profile