Interactions between Cognitive Impairment & Transport in Urban Environments (IN-CITU)
Dr James Fletcher
University of Manchester, United Kingdom
Dementia-friendly environments are a popular public health response to dementia, adapting infrastructures like public transport to minimise disabilities. Initiatives are based on outdated beliefs that autonomous individuals act in unchanging spaces, and therefore assume that basic physical changes will enhance people's cognitive abilities. New scientific understandings challenge these beliefs, revealing that cognition is embedded in constantly evolving places. Using these insights, I will explore the relationship between built environments and cognition, accompanying 25 passengers with dementia on Manchester's public transport network. I will document the journeys through interviews, photography and route maps, and support participants to capture photographs and videos, to be exhibited across the transport network, raising awareness of life with dementia in public settings. The project will inform service improvements in collaboration with local government and local residents with dementia. It will also generate a valuable open-access dataset for future researchers working on dementia-friendliness, cognition and urban environments.