Meanings of 'lifecycle robust neighbourhoods': constructing versus attaching to places

Susan Van Hees*, Klasien Horstman, Maria Jansen, Dirk Ruwaard

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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In Western welfare states, notions of age-friendly communities and ageing-in-place are increasingly important in new health policies. In the Netherlands, care reforms are modifying the former welfare state to be more participatory; local governments are seeking collaborative solutions. Municipalities and housing, care and welfare organisations in the southern part of the country developed the concept of lifecycle robust neighbourhoods', envisioned as places where older people can age-in-place. Although many scholars have used the concept ageing-in-place in their studies of neighbourhoods, we aim to unravel this concept further by exploring how this particular ageing policy plays out in practice. This paper explores what the development of lifecycle robust neighbourhoods' means in relation to notions of ageing-in-place and age-friendly communities. We used ethnography (interviews, observations and focus groups) to reveal how, on the one hand, the policy makers, housing, care and welfare directors and representatives of older people, as developers of lifecycle robust neighbourhoods' and, on the other hand, older people, give meaning to places to age-in-place. It becomes clear that ageing-in-place has a different meaning in policy discourses than in practice. While developers mainly considered place as something construable, older people emotionally attached to place through lived experiences.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1148-1173
Number of pages26
JournalAgeing & Society
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2018


  • ageing-in-place
  • age-friendly neighbourhoods
  • place attachment
  • older people
  • participation
  • AGE
  • HOME
  • MOVE


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