Timeline 2013 – 2014

December 2014

MMP Co-investigator, Professor Anthea Tinker, gives the keynote lecture at a joint meeting of the Schools of Medicine and Engineering at the University of Toronto, Canada. Themed ‘Older People and Technology’, it is hosted by the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute, one of North America’s leading rehabilitation sciences centres.

MMP team member, Máire Cox, attends the first anniversary reception for the Built Environment Professional Education Project at City Hall, London, combining her visit with a meeting at the Royal Institute of British Architects to discuss future plans for ageing research.

November 2014

Together with colleague Professor Jay Ginn of the Institute of Gerontology at King’s College London, MMP Co-investigator, Professor Anthea Tinker presents preliminary findings on research into ‘An Age-Friendly London’ to the Mayor’s Older People’s Ageing Forum at City Hall.  The presentation includes, as a case study, the MMP co-creative design fieldwork carried out in Hackney in October 2014.

Professor Catharine Ward Thompson chairs a workshop, co-organised by the EUPHA Section on Public Mental Health and the University of Edinburgh, at the 7th European Public Health Conference in Glasgow. Organised around the theme ‘Mind the gap: Reducing inequalities in health and health care’, the conference is hosted by the European Public Health Conference Foundation, the European Public Health Association (EUPHA) and the UK Society for Social Medicine. Speakers at the workshop on ‘open space and mental health’ include MMP researchers, Jamie Pearce, Jenny Roe and Chris Neale. The event is co-chaired by Jutta Lindert, Professor of Public Health at the Protestant University of Ludwigsburg, Germany.

MMP Principal Investigator, Professor Catharine Ward Thompson, attends the RIBA Research Symposium on Design for Ageing where, together with Liza Fior of muf architecture/art, she presents an age-friendly critique of muf’s public realm improvements to Barking Town Square. One of six academic/practitioner case studies, the presentation is based on a collaborative site visit, facilitated by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), in October 2014.

MMP team members, Professor Anthea Tinker and Dr Jenny Roe, attend the Innovate UK Long-Term Care Revolution National Challenge Launch in London.

October 2014

The team gathers in London to celebrate the first year of Mobility, Mood and Place (MMP), the UN International Day of Older Persons, and the European Year of the Brain. Our reception in Europe House is addressed by Matthew Taylor, Chief Executive of the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA), and attended by a range of stakeholders from policy, practice, the third sector and academia, including our funding bodies, the EPSRC and AHRC.

MMP researcher, Dr Jenny Roe, gives a talk on the theme of ageing and enabling environments to the King of Sweden, members of the royal family, Swedish ministers, policy makers, NGOs and academics. Her talk forms part of the ‘Applying insights’ strand of the 25th anniversary celebrations of the Stockholm Environment Institute, of which Jenny is a member. The event is entitled Stories from a World of Change and is streamed live from Sweden on YouTube.

Nature v Smartphones‘, an article by MMP researcher, Professor Richard Coyne, is published by Interactions magazine as its cover story for Issue 21(5). Published bi-monthly by the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), the magazine is the flagship publication for researchers and practitioners interested in Computer-Human Interaction.  In the article, Richard explores some of the evidence for the restorative effects of natural environments, drawing on work by MMP colleagues including Jenny Roe, Peter Aspinall and Catharine Ward Thompson. Addressing whether digital devices negate the benefits of being in nature, he argues that smartphones and other technologies present to us as “other” than nature; this being one of their main benefits.

An article by Sarah Knapton on our Topic 2 work is published in The Telegraph and the Project Director, Professor Catharine Ward Thompson, is interviewed by BBC Radio Scotland for the Newsdrive programme (available to listen to online until 9th October; from 48.13 mins in).

MMP researchers, Dr Katherine Brookfield, Dr Sara Tilley and Catherine Tisch, devise and facilitate a workshop for older people as part of the Midlothian Science Festival. The event draws on all three topics of MMP, encouraging older people to think about mobility, mood and place from a range of perspectives, and takes place in Heinsberg House, a retirement / sheltered housing complex managed by Castle Rock Edinvar Housing Association.

‘Starting Young’, an article by Emily Underwood, is published in a special issue of Science magazine dedicated to The Aging Brain. The four-page article, featuring participant Sheila McGowan and MMP researcher, Professor Ian Deary, traces the history and successes of the Lothian Birth Cohort (1936) study, data from which is being used in Topic 3 of Mobility, Mood and Place; Life course of places, health & mobility.

Professors Anthea Tinker and Catharine Ward Thompson present the project to researchers from King’s College London as part of the University’s Social Science, Health and Medicine Seminar Series.

Katherine Brookfield and Sara Tilley attend the annual Scottish Older People’s Assembly, which this year takes place at the Scottish Parliament. They participate in workshops on Transport, Travel & Environment and Community Empowerment. Also this month, Katherine attends a seminar on the use of the affirmation model of disability as a research tool. The seminar is organised by DisAbility Research Edinburgh (DARE), an interdisciplinary research group (of which Katherine is a member) set up to consider existing disability issues and promote social inclusion.

At the request of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), Professor Catharine Ward Thompson, visits Barking Town Square with Liza Fior of muf architecture/art to critique the practice’s public realm improvements, implemented in 2010. The visit predates the upcoming RIBA Research Symposium on Design for Ageing (18th November 2014) at which Catharine and Liza will be jointly presenting, together with five other academic/practitioner case study pairings, on age-friendly placemaking.

September 2014

MMP researchers, Dr Jenny Roe and Dr Chris Neale, demonstrate the EEG technology used in Topic 2 as part of YorNight, the University of York’s European Researchers’ Night. Their free event, What’s your brain doing in this place?, is one of 12 health-themed talks hosted by the York Medical Society.

Work begins on the second year of Topic 1 co-creative design activities, which in 2014/2015 are centred on the London Borough of Hackney. 21 postgraduate students from Edinburgh College of Art sign-up to participate: 14 from the Masters of Architecture programme; seven from the Masters of Landscape Architecture programme. Co-design workshops with local older people take place over two days at The White Building, London’s centre for art, technology and sustainability. The visit also involves two days of site exploration focused specifically on Hackney Wick, an area in the east of the Borough across the River Lea from the 2012 Olympic Park.

The Topic 3 team visit the Edinburgh and Scottish Collection at the Central Library in Edinburgh to view a selection of the City’s Post Office Directories (in effect, a Victorian version of today’s Yellow Pages) to locate amenities and services that may relate to health, such as educational facilities, green grocers and sports clubs.

MMP team members, Professor Catharine Ward Thompson and Máire Cox, co-facilitate the second Memory-Friendly Neighbourhoods (MFN) network event in Glasgow, which focuses on the development of Dementia-Friendly Communities in Scotland.

August 2014

MMP Study Manager, Dr Katherine Brookfield, presents at the ARK Ageing Programme and AgeNI conference, At the crossroads: preparing for an ageing population, at Queen’s University, Belfast.

Topic 3 researchers meet with Advisory Group member, Chris Fleet, at the National Library of Scotland to discuss the Bartholemew Archive and processes for digitising, georeferencing and creating shapefiles from historic maps.

A lifegrid is sent out to Lothian Birth Cohort (1936) participants to collect retrospective data on home address and occupation.

Work begins on analysing the data from the Topic 2 (Environment and affect) pilot EEG study, which involved both lab-based and outdoor EEG testing with 20 older volunteers (aged 65-90) in Edinburgh.

July 2014

Towards an Integrated Garden City, an urban design proposal conceived as part of Mobility, Mood and Place, wins the Architecture and Design Scotland Sust. Award for Sustainable Design at the 12th annual Scottish Student Awards for Architecture. The project by recent graduates, Roseanne Knight, Jonathon Phillips and Stephanie Sharpe, is also highly commended in the Architecture and Design Scotland Urban Design Award category of the awards, which are a collaboration between Scotland’s placemaking champion, Architecture and Design Scotland (A+DS), and the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS).

The Topic 2 team conclude their pilot EEG study, which involves both lab-based and outdoor EEG testing with 20 older volunteers (aged 65-90) in Edinburgh.

Professor Anthea Tinker discusses MMP during a lecture on Older People, Health and Technology at Utrecht University in the Netherlands. The audience comprises participants in two Summer Schools: Assistive Technology; and Nursing Leadership.

The Topic 3 team visit the Lothian Health Services Archive to view reports by the Medical Officer of Health.

Recent Edinburgh College of Art graduates, Sarah Lawson and Elise Rasmussen, win the Small Moves Big Impact prize, awarded by Somner Macdonald Architects, for their project,  Active Aging : An Urban Strategy. The proposal for a site in Manchester was designed during the first year of MMP and co-created with older people in both Manchester and Edinburgh.

Research presented by Professor Catharine Ward Thompson at an expert workshop on getting out and about in older age, hosted jointly by the International Longevity Centre (ILC-UK) and Age UK in March 2014, is included in the new publication Making our Communities Ready for Ageing: A call to action. Incorporating a 10 point action plan for local authorities, and an ideas bank of suggestions, the report argues that policy makers must work to ensure that communities do more than cater for our basic needs; that communities should be places of fun for all and supportive of walking and cycling in old age.

At the invitation of City of Edinburgh Council Health and Social Care, MMP Study Manager, Dr Katherine Brookfield, attends the City Chambers to brief a local government delegation from Geneva on the project’s aims, objectives and progress.  She also attends the Connected Communities Festival in Cardiff and participates in the Early Career Researcher Training Day led by the Arts & Humanities Research Council.

Professor Catharine Ward Thompson and Dr Jenny Roe participate in ICAP 2014, the 28th International Congress of Applied Psychology, in Paris. Both speak at a symposium, convened by Jenny, on Nature related restorative needs over the lifespan, and Catharine presents findings from Inclusive Design for Getting Outdoors (I’DGO) in a symposium on Creating Environments that Support Healthy Physical Activity.

June 2014

The Topic 2 team begin their pilot EEG study. The study is due to run for two months (June and July 2014) and involve lab-based and outdoor EEG testing with 20 older volunteers in Edinburgh. Sara Tilley is interviewed about the study by journalist, Kaye Nicolson. An illustrated feature is published in the Edinburgh Evening News on 28th June.

The project’s Advisory Group meets for the second time in Edinburgh. Representatives of eight partner organisations attend, together with Roger Singleton Escofet of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and academics from the Universities of Edinburgh and York.

The Topic 1 team welcome 13 older participants to Edinburgh College of Art to review graduating students’ work. The designs under review are based on earlier co-creative work with older people in both Edinburgh and Manchester, including a number of stroke survivors.

Study Manager, Dr Katherine Brookfield, attends the AGM of the Cross Party Group on Older People, Age and Ageing at the Scottish Parliament.

The Topic 3 team meet with EDINA and the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland (RCAHMS) to discuss historic data and collections relating to Edinburgh’s built and physical environments during the 20th century.

MMP team members, Professor Catharine Ward Thompson and Máire Cox, co-facilitate the first Memory-Friendly Neighbourhoods (MFN) network event in Glasgow. Funded by the Scottish Universities Insight Institute, MFN is an interdisciplinary collaboration between research centres at the Universities of Stirling and Edinburgh exploring how local communities can support people with dementia.

May 2014

MMP team members, Professors Catharine Ward Thompson and Jamie Pearce, give a free public lecture at the Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation (ECCI). Jointly organised by the University of Edinburgh’s Global Academies for Health and Environment & Society, Environment and Health Under the Microscope: Resilient Cities attracts a full house. Study Manager, Dr Katherine Brookfield, attends the event to publicise MMP at the accompanying exhibition, alongside the project’s Communicator, Máire Cox.

The Masters of Architecture (MArch) students working on Topic 1 present their co-creative design work during the annual ECA Degree Show, a celebration of the work of more than 500 graduating students. Exhibits include models, drawings and other work based on fieldtrips and design reviews with older people in Manchester.

Professor Catharine Ward Thompson speaks at the second GLADS – Good Lives and Decent Societies workshop (#Gladsmay), an interactive event, supported by the Scottish Universities Insights Institute, to promote wellbeing in Scotland and beyond. Led by the Universities of Edinburgh and Strathclyde, GLADS also co-opts experts from the University of Bath, Jacobs University Bremen and Connected by Nature.

The Topic 3 team host the first in a semi-regular series of meetings of researchers working on projects with a significant Historical GIS (Geographic Information Systems) component.

MMP researchers, Dr Jenny Roe and Dr Chris Neale, take part in the annual Pint of Science Festival in York. At an event in the Stonegate Yard Bar, they explore how the quality of neighbourhood and work environments contribute to health and wellbeing, presenting their research using new technologies, including our EEG headset.

The Topic 2 team complete their pre-pilot EEG testing with volunteers, both in the lab and on the streets of Edinburgh. Recruitment begins for the pilot study.

April 2014

Professor Catharine Ward Thompson speaks at a networking event on Cities For Life, hosted by the Universities of Edinburgh and Heriot-Watt, at the 7th World Urban Forum in Medellín, Colombia (convened by UN-Habitat). She briefs the British Ambassador to Colombia about our research and speaks to the media about participatory planning and co-design.

Professor Ian Deary is featured in the spring edition of the Medical Research Council journal, network (pages 16-17). Together with Professor Catharine Ward Thompson, he speaks at The Best Years of our Lives? Body, Brain and Well-Being, a British Academy debate in the Assembly Hall, Edinburgh. Chaired by Sally Magnusson, the event also involves discussants Professor James Goodwin (Age UK) and Henry Simmons (Alzheimer Scotland). It attracts national media interest and support, with a blog post, by Catharine, on the Age Scotland website, a live interview with her on BBC Radio Scotland and an article in The Scotsman.

The Topic 2 team begin pre-pilot EEG testing with volunteers, both in the lab and on the streets of Edinburgh.

Eminent gerontologist, Gloria Gutman, visits Edinburgh as our International Expert Advisor. She participates in two days of in-depth discussion of the three MMP Topics and our programme of knowledge exchange and impact generation, and gives a free public lecture, at Edinburgh College of Art, on The Age-friendly Cities Movement: global trends and local issues.

The Topic 3 team meet with Dr Simon Cox, Co-ordinator of the Lothian Birth Cohort (LBC) Study 1936, to discuss the lifegrid table which will be used to collect retrospective address and occupation data from LBC participants.

Professor Catharine Ward Thompson and Máire Cox attend The Knowledge Exchange,  a showcase of innovative knowledge exchange and impact deriving from research projects at the College of Humanities & Social Sciences (CHSS) at the University of Edinburgh. The event is hosted by Professor Dorothy Miell, Head of CHSS and President Elect of the British Psychological Society.

March 2014

Professor Catharine Ward Thompson, recently appointed Associate Dean (Research) at the University of Edinburgh, speaks about MMP at an international symposium on design for wellbeing in the built environment at the University of Warwick, at a seminar on getting out and about in older age organised, jointly, by the International Longevity Centre (ILC-UK) and Age UK and at the 2014 meeting of the NIHR Age and Ageing Specialty Group in Scotland, which is co-chaired by MMP Co-Investigator, Professor Gillian Mead.

The Topic 2 team purchase an EEG headset for pre-pilot testing with researchers and volunteers and map the six routes to be walked by older people when data collection gets under way on Environment and Affect.

We guest post on the blog of our partner, Age Scotland, on community readiness for an ageing population and outdoor access in older age. Related work by OPENspace, led by Catharine Ward Thompson, is cited in a RIBA Journal article on the same topic.

Professor Terry Hartig, a leading expert in restorative environments and Professor of Environmental Psychology at Uppsala University, Sweden, visits Edinburgh to meet our research team and to give an informal talk on his work. Preparations continue for the visit of our international expert advisor, gerontologist Dr Gloria Gutman, at the end of April.

Participants, all stroke survivors, attend a co-design focus group in Edinburgh organised by the Topic 1 team, while team members continue to carry out interviews with a range of older people within the city. A two-day critique of the students’ design work on this topic is held at Edinburgh College of Art, led by Iain Scott with input from Professor Catharine Ward Thompson, Dr Katherine Brookfield and guest critic, Professor Mark Dorrian, Forbes Chair in Architecture at the University of Edinburgh.

Catharine Ward Thompson attends the opening workshop of the Street Mobility and Network Accessibility project, which is also funded by Lifelong Health and Wellbeing under the theme Design for Wellbeing: Ageing and Mobility in the Built Environment.

Our collaborator, Professor John Starr, speaks at the Scottish Dementia Clinical Research Network (SDCRN) Conference 2014, After G8 – What next for dementia research in Scotland?

By invitation, we submit a report on MMP, and earlier work on Inclusive Design for Getting Outdoors (I’DGO), to the Northern Ireland Assembly’s Committee for Health, Social Services and Public Safety as part of its initiative to engage with emerging research. It will be considered at a committee meeting on 2nd April.

MMP researchers, Dr Katherine Brookfield and Dr Sara Tilley, attend the first ‘walkshop’ hosted by the knowledge exchange group, Walking for Wellbeing; a collaboration between the Universities of Edinburgh, Strathclyde and Stirling funded by the Scottish Universities Insights Institute.

February 2014 

International architect, Peter Wilson (bolles+wilson) visits our architectural studio to critique the students’ work on Topic 1: co-created environments. The work is also critiqued by older participants in a co-creative group design review in Manchester, while one-to-one interviews with Edinburgh participants continue.

Professor Anthea Tinker talks about MMP while presenting the findings from her research on long term care at a seminar organised by the Centre for Ageing Research and Development in Ireland (CARDI) in Belfast and at a Housing LIN conference in London.


The Topic 3 team meet with staff at the National Library of Scotland to discuss publications which might have area-level data on the built, social and physical environment.


The Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA) joins our group of partner organisations.

The Topic 2 team meets in Edinburgh to discuss locations for the Environment and Affect EEG research, and the piloting of the research protocol, following a series of site visits in the city by Dr Sara Tilley.

January 2014

Research Associates Dr Sara Tilley (Edinburgh) and Dr Chris Neale (York) join the team to work on Topic 2, Environment and affect.

The project’s Advisory Group meets for the first time and the MMP website launches.

Project Manager, Dr Katherine Brookfield, attends the launch of a new campaign to raise awareness of dementia in Edinburgh.

December 2013

Project Manager, Dr Katherine Brookfield, participates in the Scottish Older People’s Assembly hosted by the City of Edinburgh Council at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre.

12 participants attend the second co-design focus group held by the Topic 1 team, while the students involved with this topic produce Perspectives: older people’s views of the city, a book documenting their co-design work with participants in Manchester.

November 2013

The students involved in Topic 1 begin design work based on their co-creative activities with older people in Manchester.

Professor Anthea Tinker talks about MMP at a Department for Work and Pensions seminar and during a plenary presentation to the Greater London Assembly.

Professor Catharine Ward Thompson chairs a session on Enhancing mobility and independence in an ageing population at the annual Lifelong Health and Wellbeing showcase in London.

The Topic 3 team visit the Lothian Health Services Archive.

October 2013

The Academic Management Group holds its first meeting and recruitment of researchers and participants continues, with Catherine Tisch coming into post on Topic 3.

Dr Katherine Brookfield and Professor Richard Coyne address the AGM of the Access Association in Salford and Professor Catharine Ward Thompson participates in Scotland 2020: Realising the opportunities of an ageing population, the Scottish Productive Ageing Summit in Edinburgh.

MMP is featured in Get Up & Go, Edinburgh’s annual showcase of activities for older people, and in the newsletter of the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Age and Ageing Speciality Group.

The students who participated in the Manchester co-design activities in September begin analysing the rich data collected from the accompanied walks, interviews and focus groups.

September 2013

Work officially begins on Mobility, Mood and Place (MMP). The Project Manager, Dr Katherine Brookfield, comes into post and participates, with Iain Scott, in three days of intergenerational, co-design activities with 15 students and 12 older people in Manchester, facilitated by the Valuing Older People team at Manchester City Council.

The project is featured in a press release by funding body, the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), and Professor Richard Coyne is interviewed on the EEG technology used in Topic 2 for US online magazine, salon.com.

Professor Catharine Ward Thompson speaks at the launch of the Supporting Healthy Inclusive Neighbourhood Environments (SHINE) initiative in Bristol and participates, with Professor Jamie Pearce, in a Guardian online live chat on city populations and the environment to mark World Environmental Health day.

July 2013

The Mobility, Mood and Place (MMP) Twitter feed is launched @MMPresearch.

June 2013

Mobility, Mood and Place (MMP) is featured in Health and wellbeing: The contribution of the arts and humanities, a new publication by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. Launched at an event in the UK Houses of Parliament, the publication carries a short description of the project and a quote from MMP Advisory Group member and Head of Urbanism at Architecture and Design Scotland, Diarmaid Lawlor.

May 2013

Professor Anthea Tinker previews Mobility, Mood and Place (MMP) in presentations to researchers and partners working on an Australian Research Council-funded project on social isolation at the University of Adelaide. Prof Tinker also discusses the project at a meeting with senior representatives of the Federal Ministry of Health and Ageing for South Australia, at the Ministerial Advisory Group on Ageing and at a seminar at the Centre for Housing, Urban and Regional Planning, University of Adelaide.

April 2013

The Mobility, Mood and Place (MMP) team attend a project start-up meeting at the University of Edinburgh.

March 2013 

Mobility, Mood and Place (MMP) is awarded £1.6m funding from Lifelong Health and Wellbeing, with Professor Catharine Ward Thompson as Principal Investigator.

‘The Urban Brain’, a paper on a pilot study on analysing outdoor physical activity with mobile EEG by MMP team members Peter Aspinall, Richard Coyne and Jenny Roe, together with Panagiotis Mavros, is published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.