Aging, Access, Care, + Inclusion in Neighbourhoods

How do the places we live in support our health and wellbeing? Who gets access to public spaces and included in everyday life? How do we care for one another and the places we live in? What are the roles of planners and allied community-builders in this process? 

These are just some of the questions that Dr. Samantha Biglieri, Assistant Professor in the School of Urban & Regional Planning at the soon to be renamed Ryerson University will be addressing in her talk at the University of Manitoba on January 27th. In this talk, she will draw on completed and ongoing work discussing the current state of accessibility in planning discourse and policy and the marginalization people living with dementia in this discussion as well as examples of their access needs in public spaces (including in land use, urban design, wayfinding, and the planning process). The talk will raise questions about diverse access needs, intersectionality, varied contexts, and issues with implementation. The talk will conclude proposing an expanded definition of care as a way for planners to understand everyday life and innovative practices in the hopes of building more inclusive neighbourhoods. 

About Samantha Biglieri

Dr. Samantha Biglieri is an Assistant Professor in the School of Urban and Regional Planning at Ryerson University (soon to be renamed). She is also a practicing urban planner, and Past President of the Toronto Council on Aging. Dr. Biglieri’s work is at the intersection of health and planning and encompasses three main areas – aging in the built environment, policy and housing, understanding the lived experiences of people living with dementia in their neighbourhoods, and the governance of the COVID-19 pandemic. Some examples of her research include: investigating demographic change and age-friendly policy, testing e-bikes as alternative mobility tools for suburban older adults, and comparing the COVID-19 pandemic responses in Toronto and Milan. Biglieri’s research has been featured in academic and industry publications, international conferences, the Canadian Library of Parliament, books, podcasts, and on CBC Radio. She is co-editor of Aging People, Aging Places from Policy Press (2021) - a combination of original academic research, practitioner and community member vignettes from urban, suburban, rural, and indigenous perspectives, capturing experiences from across Canada. She co-edited a special issue of Plan Canada (the Canadian Institute of Planners magazine) on Aging in Summer 2021. Biglieri holds a PhD in Planning from the University of Waterloo, a Master of Planning in Urban Development from Ryerson University and a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Global Development Studies and Italian from Queen’s University.