Forthcoming publication: (Re)-learning the city for intergenerational exchange


How do we understand better how the city might (re) learn to become intergenerational?  

A forthcoming research article by Helen Manchester and Keri Facer explores the complex intergenerational facets of urban learning.

According to Manchester and Facer, two major international agendas are currently working to realign social, material and representational elements of the city in ways that are helpful for both children and older adults. The Age Friendly City movement (AFC) (led by the World Health Organisation) and the Child Friendly Cities (CFC) movement (led by UNICEF) aim to ensure that planners, policy makers and developers design cities that take account of the interests of age groups who are too often marginalised in current policy and design processes. These movements are valuable and important in themselves, however they also have significant implications for the future of a learning city in which intergenerational exchange is valued.

Manchester and Facer explore different intergenerational assemblages, looking at what is being aligned, and connected in the AFC and CFC movements. They describe a performative, experimental project that sought to enable different alignments between these movements. A key element of this involved building new imaginative ideas about what might be possible in order to realign these generational assemblages for intergenerational, civic learning. Finally they explore what worked and didn’t work, what resisted enrolment, what was easily aligned and what routines were disrupted.

Manchester, H., & Facer, K. (2017). (Re)-Learning the City for Intergenerational Exchange. In Learning the City: Cultural approaches to civic learning in urban spaces (pp. 83-98). Springer International Publishing.


This research builds on previous work by Manchester and Facer in collaboration with Future Cities Catapult. The resulting “Manifesto for All-Age Friendly Cities”, published earlier this year, presented possible ideas for improving cities, from digital aids, to sentiment mapping and modular housing fostering intergenerational relationships.

Read the manifesto:

Learn more about other projects:

Dr Helen Manchester:

Prof Keri Facer:

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