School of the Built Environment

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OISD starts work on Phase 2 of I’DGO (Inclusive Design for Getting Outdoors)

August 2007

OISD staff

Left to right:
Dr Nicola Dempsey, Lynne Mitchell and Amanda Griffin

Professor Elizabeth Burton

Professor Elizabeth Burton

Funded by EPSRC’s EQUAL– Extending Quality Life – programme, the I’DGO consortium was set up in 2003 to investigate how outdoor environments affect older people’s quality of life and to identify what aspects of design help or hinder older people in using the outdoors. The new I’DGO TOO project and a website with findings from I’DGO research to date were showcased at a launch in London on 21 June, which was addressed by Mike Lake, Director of Help the Aged, and Louise Plouffe, Senior Technical Officer at the World Health Organisation.

The I’DGO consortium comprises the WISE (Wellbeing in Sustainable Environments) research unit at OISD, the OPENspace research centre at Edinburgh College of Art and SURFACE Inclusive Design Research Centre at the University of Salford. Collaboration from Heriot-Watt University, the University of Edinburgh and over 30 partners outside higher education institutions completes the team.

I'DGO TOO is focusing on policies and strategies currently being promoted by government where potentially important, practical implications for older people's lives have not fully been explored and tested. The project involves work at three different levels of detail:

  • OISD:WISE are researching the implications of high-density urban housing on residential outdoor space, such as gardens and balconies
  • OPENspace are researching pedestrian-friendly approaches (such as Home Zones) in street environments
  • SURFACE are researching the practical consequences of using tactile paving (designed to assist people with visual impairment) for older people in the urban environment.

The voices of older people themselves are a key element in this research. From the beginning, older people will be involved in expressing what is important to them and in shaping the development of the programme. The consortium welcomes the opportunity to involve new collaborators.

Professor Elizabeth Burton and Lynne Mitchell have recruited Dr Nicola Dempsey and Amanda Griffin to work with them in OISD:WISE on the I’’DGO TOO project. Elizabeth Burton said:

‘We are delighted to have won this funding in what we believe is a vital area of research to benefit an ageing UK population’.

For further information please visit or contact Lynne Mitchell (



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