Greater Manchester Centre for Voluntary Organisation

AFA seminar series - Social Infrastructure: How shared spaces make communities work

Presented by: Dr Sophie Yarker, MICRA, University of Manchester

Date: Wednesday 7 November 2018

Venue: St Thomas Centre, Ardwick Green North, Manchester M12 6FZ

Time: Arrival 13:30 for 14:00 start until 15:30

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Social Infrastructure: how shared spaces make communities work

Social infrastructure - the shared spaces and public places that form a part of our everyday lives - are often overlooked, yet are a crucial part of our communities on many levels.

Libraries, parks, post offices and even bus queues provide us informal spaces where we can come across and talk with people in our neighbourhood that we might otherwise not come into contact with. These areas have become known as ‘third spaces’ and the potential they have for encouraging communications between cultures and age groups is huge, especially with regard to building age-friendly communities, where older people can feel connected and valued. It is vital, therefore, that we recognise, value and nurture these spaces.

This seminar looks at some of the recent policy and academic thinking around social infrastructure. It will presented as a selection of findings from Sophie’s recent research work with older volunteers in Wales. She will be examining the different types of third spaces that emerge from very different local environments, drawing on her interviews with older residents to consider the role and value these spaces represent in everyday lives.

The seminar will also be asking delegates about how they use and experience the third places in their own neighbourhoods, as well as discussing how these spaces might be better supported generally.

About the speaker

Dr Yarker is a Research Fellow at the Manchester Institute for Collaborative Research on Ageing. Her particular areas of interest include community development, identities, place and civil society. Prior to joining MICRA, Sophie was based at Aberystwyth University where she researched older voluntary roles, following gaining a PhD from Newcastle University in Social Housing, Urban Regeneration, Belonging and Identity.

Location: 
Manchester
Wednesday, 7 November 2018