Planning for an Ageing Population
The majority of local areas in the UK are faced with an ageing population. Popular retirement destinations in coastal and more rural areas are particularly affected. The thesis aims to find out how local areas strategically tackle these demographic shifts. The British government has issued strategic guidance for local areas, but as yet little is known about how actual responses look. The literature has largely focused on good practice compilations. Consequently, the thesis attempts to analyse in depth local areas’ experiences in planning for an ageing population. The main research question is: How do local actors in the UK plan for population ageing?
A grounded theory approach has been chosen to develop theoretical concepts from empirical data. Local governance and collective learning are used as sensitising concepts,
i.e. wider theoretical perspectives. Due to the state of research and the aim to gather detailed knowledge regarding the planning for an ageing population in local areas, a qualitative research design has been chosen. More precisely, it is a multiple case study design, covering the three heterogeneous cases North Tyneside, Poole and Wealden. Empirical data has been assembled from qualitative interviews with local experts and documents such as local strategies or minutes of meetings.
The results are threefold. Firstly, local governance arrangements are analysed. This covers the identification of involved actors, their action orientations and interactions. As approaches in planning for an ageing population differ across organisations, a typology of individual actors is developed. Moreover, it is observed that and analysed how traditional hierarchical steering by public bodies is complemented by more network-like forms of governance, for example multi-organisational older people’s partnerships. Secondly, local learning processes in planning for an ageing population are reconstructed. Four phases are differentiated: setting the agenda for the topic of ageing and older people followed by building up knowledge on the subject and collective learning in a narrower sense and, finally, strategy-making. Interrelations between governance arrangements and collective learning are analysed, particularly with respect to different forms of learning in different types of older people’s partnerships.
Finally, central challenges and perspectives arising from the analysis of governance arrangements and learning processes are discussed. On the one hand, these pertain to the cross-cutting nature of ageing, on the other hand they are due to the ambivalent influence from national government on local areas. Ageing affects various spheres of local steering activity. Among the main implications for local areas in the UK are the continuous search for responsibility and the struggle to broaden the agenda beyond health and care. This has led to experimenting with governance structures, intensifying involvement of older people and developing inter-agency older people strategies and others as catalysts for further development. The strong influence from central government on local steering advances local reactions to ageing but provokes superficial and unsustainable answers at the same time.
Overall, the thesis provides in-depth empirical knowledge on local planning for an ageing population. The theoretical lenses local governance and collective learning have been used to generalise from the practical experiences in the three case study areas. The thesis concludes with recommendations for practitioners locally and at the national level. These refer inter alia to local governance arrangements which come up to the issue’s cross-cuttingness and to national guidance and regulation which could facilitate their introduction or modification.
About the book
The majority of local areas in the UK are faced with an ageing population. Popular retirement destinations in coastal and more rural areas are particularly affected. The cross-cutting implications of these demographic shifts extend from service provision to the design of housing and neighbourhoods. The British government has responded to these challenges dynamically, such as by issuing strategic guidance for local areas. As one example, this guidance promotes the concept of the “Lifetime Neighbourhood”, an inclusive living environment for all generations.
How do local actors plan for population ageing? To answer this question, the book provides in-depth empirical knowledge which stems from qualitative research in three case study areas: North Tyneside, Poole and Wealden. The results focus on the involved actors and local forms of governance as well as local learning processes. Moreover, central challenges and perspectives of planning for an ageing population are discussed. Apart from conclusions for academic discussion, the book provides recommendations for practitioners at the local and national levels. Beyond that, it puts forward what other countries can learn from the British experience.
Die Mehrzahl britischer Gemeinden ist mit einer alternden Bevölkerung konfrontiert. Küstengebiete und ländliche Räume weisen besonders hohe Anteile älterer Bevölkerungsgruppen auf, da sie als Altersruhesitz bevorzugt werden. Anhand dreier Fallstudien untersucht der Band den lokalen Umgang mit der alternden Bevölkerung. Es werden insbesondere involvierte Akteure und lokale Formen der Governance analysiert sowie lokale Lernprozesse rekonstruiert. Auf dieser Grundlage werden Herausforderungen und Perspektiven der Stadtentwicklung für eine alternde Bevölkerung diskutiert.
The Leibniz Institute of Ecological and Regional Development (IOER) together with the Technical University of Dresden and the Academy for Spatial Research and Planning (ARL) established the Dresden Leibniz Graduate School (DLGS) in 2008. The DLGS is one of the 18 graduate schools jointly founded to date throughout the country by the Leibniz Association (WGL) and universities. The start-up was financed under the “Pact for Research and Innovation” by the German Government and the Länder. It is meanwhile fully funded by the participating institutions.
Four faculties of the Technical University of Dresden participate in the DLGS: the Forest, Geo, and Hydro Sciences, Architecture, Economics, and Philosophy (Sociology). They constitute the interdisciplinary environment for Graduate School scholarship holders. All first supervisors, including professors jointly appointed by the IOER and the TU Dresden, come from one of these four faculties.
Every two years, the DLGS awards eight doctoral fellowships for research into subjects relevant to the spatial sciences. They are advertised internationally. 25 per cent of the first cohort were from abroad and 50 per cent of the second. External doctoral students can also be accepted as in an associate capacity.
Scholarship holders and associate doctoral students are offered a comprehensive, structured programme. Courses, workshops, and summer schools are offered that address the theory and methodology of science and topics of relevance for dissertations and advisory bodies provided to discuss the progress made by each student in depth. In addition, all scholarship holders and associate doctoral students have the opportunity to take part in national and international conferences.
The key topic of the first cohort at the DLGS was demographic change and its effects on spatial development and on the economy and society. This takes up lines of research in all three participating institutions, at the TU Dresden in particular in the work done by the Centre for Demographic Change (ZDW). The present work is a dissertation from the first cohort of the DLGS. Others will follow.
Dresden, October 2011
Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Bernhard Müller Spokesman of the DLGS
Figures and tables.11 List of Abbreviations.13
1.1 Rationale and aims of the research. 15
1.2 Study design. 18
1.3 Thesis structure. 20
2 Planning for an ageing population – a UK-wide overview.23
2.1 The UK’s ageing population. 23
2.2 Local governance and planning in transition. 30
2.3 Reactions to ageing in the UK. 38
2.4 Questions raised. 46
3 Conceptual framework. 49
3.1 Local planning for an ageing population – linked to various research areas.49
3.2 Grounded theory perspective. 53
3.3 Sensitising concepts.55
3.3.1 Local governance.56
3.3.2 Collective learning.62
3.4 Presuppositions guiding the analysis.67
4 Research design and methods.71
4.1 Overall research design.71
4.2 Exploratory interviews – national level.74
4.3 Sampling procedures.75
4.3.1 Sampling of case study areas.76
4.3.2 Sampling of interviewees.79
4.4 Data collection.81
4.5 Data analysis.83
5 The case study areas.89
5.1 North Tyneside.90
5.1.1 North Tyneside in profile.90
5.1.2 Planning for an ageing population in North Tyneside.91
5.2.1 Poole in profile.94
5.2.2 Planning for an ageing population in Poole.96
5.3 Wealden/East Sussex.98
5.3.1 Wealden/East Sussex in profile.98
5.3.2 Planning for an ageing population in Wealden/East Sussex.100
5.4 Summary and arising questions.103
6 Local governance and planning for an ageing population.105
6.1 The involved actors.105
6.1.1 Actors belonging to the public sector.106
6.1.2 Actors belonging to the private sector.116
6.1.3 Actors belonging to the voluntary and community sector117
6.1.4 Connecting the sectors: The Local Strategic Partnership.122
6.2 A typology of actors.125
6.3 Governance arrangements: from working in silos to partnerships.130
7 Local learning processes in planning for an ageing population.141
7.1 Setting the ageing agenda.143
7.1.1 Awareness of the ageing population.143
7.1.2 From awareness to action.146
7.2 Building up knowledge of ageing.149
7.2.1 Basing planning on (demographic) evidence.149
7.2.2 Older people’s participation.155
7.2.3 Reacting to stimuli from national government.158
7.3 Collective learning to plan for an ageing population.160
7.3.1 Collective learning in the local area.160
7.3.2 Learning in older people’s partnerships.164
7.4 Strategy-making for an ageing population.171
7.4.1 Local strategies for dealing with population ageing.171
7.4.2 National trends reflected in local strategies.178
7.4.3 The functions of strategies and strategy-making.187
8 Central challenges and perspectives in planning for an ageing population.193
8.1 The cross-cutting nature of ageing.193
8.1.1 Searching for responsibility.194
8.1.2 Struggling to broaden the agenda.195
8.1.3 Experimenting with governance structures.196
8.1.4 Involving older people.197
8.1.5 Using strategies as catalysts.198
8.2 Ambivalent influence from national government 199
8.2.1 Influence via funding, instruments, targets and supervision.200
8.2.2 Skipping the regional level.203
8.2.3 National government stimulating local areas to plan for an ageing population.204
8.2.4 Local areas’ superficial reactions to national government influence.205
8.3 Regional and local challenges and perspectives.207
9 Discussion of the results and implications209
9.1 Summary of results.209
9.2 Reflection of the results and the research design with respect to the state of research.213
9.2.1 Discussion of the results.214
9.2.2 Discussion of the research design.217
9.3 Open questions and need for further research.219
9.4 Recommended action.221
9.5 Looking beyond the UK228
A Interviewees and their positions.251
B Exemplary e-mail to get into contact with potential interviewee and accompanying project outline.252
C Interview guideline.254
D Transcription rules according to GAT 2 (modified).259