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Professor Rose Gilroy
Professor of Ageing, Policy & Planning and Director of Engagement

  • Email: r.c.gilroy@ncl.ac.uk
  • Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 7864
  • Address: School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape
    Claremont Tower
    Newcastle University
    Newcastle upon Tyne
    NE1 7RU


My first career was  in Housing with Newcastle city where I worked on the development of housing for older people and later on capital investment in the west end of the city. I came to academia in 1988. My interests have always been in issues of social justice and the city. My initial focus was on women and I was a co-founder of the EuroFEM network with Chris Booth of Sheffield Hallam and Liisa Horelli of Helsinki. Several articles came from this work. Also from this period in my research career is  the book `Housing Women`which I  co-edited with Roberta Woods. During the 1990s I was increasingly undertaking research into local urban regneration and community development programmes. It was during this period that I made the transition to my current focus on older people. 

In both my work on women, disadvantaged communties  and on older people my concern is to hear the voice of individuals and find ways of revealing their experience. My work on older people has taken me to urban and rural Japan, urban China and most recently to India. Much of my work involves Newcastle Elders Council/Quality of Life Partnership. I was co-theme leader in the north east Beacon project with Lynne Corner (FMS) on age and vitality. Lynne and I have recently pooled our project funds to  investigate the viability of co-housing for older people in Newcastle. Images from a recent co-housing workshop.

Roles and Responsibilities

I have held a number of positions of responsibility in the School including Degree Programme Director of the Undergraduate Planning Programme; Director of Teaching and Learning; Director of Planning, and Deputy Head of School. I have been a member of the School Management Team  for more than ten years. Beyond the school I have been a member of  Senate twice; served on Faculty Promotions Committee; a member of Faculty Teachng and Learning Committee; and UTLC Panel member .  

I am currently Director of Engagement in which I chair a committee in the school and manage a small budget. I am teaching and learning mentor for the school as well as teaching or research mentor for a small number of recently joined colleagues. During 2013-14 I acted as Director of Planning as part of sabbatical arrangements for other colleagues.

Outside of the school I am a member of the Public Engagement Group (Institute of Health and Society); UTLC panel of Subject Review panel members- I have chaired four Subject reviews.

Beyond the University I am a member of Newcastle's Age Friendly City Built Environment working group; a member of the Older Person's  Neighbourhood group (organised through the Quality of Life Partnership).


I have a BA from Nottingham University and a MA by research from Exeter University. I have the Higher Education Teaching Qualification from Newcastle University.

Chartered Member of the Chartered Institute of Housing (formerly designated as a Fellow)
Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (formerly Institute of Teaching and Learning)


British Gerontology Society
International Society of Quality of Life Studies
Town and Country Planning Association


Basic French

Informal Interests

I have been a committee member of the West End Befrienders since 1986 years and Chair for much of that time.

Research Interests

My research explores the impact of the ageing population, particularly in relation to planning and housing. My concerns embrace the home and the lines of attachment that radiate from it into neighbourhood, city, and region but also burrowing down into home to think about favourite spaces within it and cherished objects. In the wider arena I  explore how place may support everyday life in later life. As a planner I am interested in the transactional relationship between people and their environment that embraces how people individually and collectively may influence their environments. Within the container of home I reflect on how this place that we experience physically, socially and  emotionally contributes to the persistent existential question – who are we?

My research on older people has taken me from the north east of England to  China, japan and India.

I am currently working on two EPSRC funded reserach projects. The first- MyPlace- led by Newcastle University and the second- Co-Motion- led by York University. For further details of the York work read on:

 The 'Co-Motion Consortium' has secured £1.2M funding from the EPSRC, ESRC and AHRC for a three year ‘Design for Wellbeing’ project investigating the links between mobility and wellbeing amongst older people. 

The consortium, which includes academics from York Departments of Computer Science, Health Sciences and the Stockholm Environment Institute, as well as colleagues from the University of Leeds, University of Newcastle and Northumbria University, aims to create a step-change in research on mobility and wellbeing in later life.  The work will include a longitudinal study of older people in York, Hexham and Leeds who have experienced transitions affecting mobility and wellbeing, and will lead into intensive co-design workshops with older people and local and national stakeholders.

Our approach has five distinctive, equally ranking objectives:

  •  Transitions and time. We aim to explore mobility and wellbeing for older people going through critical but common life transitions such as losing a driving license, losing sight, losing a partner, becoming a carer or starting to use a mobility scooter.
  • Consensus and contradiction. We will investigate and address variation and contradictions in needs of different groups of older people, and between different built environment agendas and guidance.
  • Participation. We will work very closely with a relatively large and diverse group of older people and local stakeholders in the built environment, ageing and wellbeing. Older people and stakeholders will act not only as informants but as co-operators and co-designers.
  • Complements and alternatives. In proposing interventions to promote mobility and wellbeing, we will focus on complements or alternatives to physical design or redesign of the built environment.
  • Impact. In addition to concepts and knowledge the project will also provide a suite of tested models and prototypes: crowdsourcing and participatory GIS for mobility information gathering and analysis; deliberative methods in identifying consensus and priorities; tested prototype technologies to provide alternatives and complements to changes to the built environment; Initial evidence on the impact of prototype technologies on mobility and wellbeing.

  Postgraduate Supervision

I welcome applications from potential doctoral candidates who are interested in older people's (non medical) issues specifically perceptions of  quality of life; experiences of housing and neighbourhood; activism in older age.

Lena Ganesh -India- (MPhil commenced 2002, transferred to PhD  “From zenana to zoom in”. Supervised with Janice McLaughlin and Peter Phillimore of Geography, Social Policy and Politics. Awarded 2008.

Ying Chang- China- Commenced 2006. Taking a livelihoods approach to low income households: a case study of Shanghai lane, Wuhan. First Supervisor Dr Graham Tipple. Second Supervisor Rose Gilroy. Awarded 2010. 

 Elizabeth Brooks –UK- Full Time- ESRC/ODPM funded. Older people in Market towns. First Supervisor Rose Gilroy; Second supervisor Jane Midgely and formerly Tim Shaw (retired). External Examiner Professor Tom Scharf (Keele) and Dr Neil Powe (Newcastle). Awarded 2011.

Antika Sawadsri – Thailand- Full Time-  “Accessibility and disability in the built environment: negotiating the public realm in Thailand “. First Supervisor Rose Gilroy; Second supervisor Peter Kellett. External Examiner Professor Rob Imrie (Kings College London) and Dr Tim Townshend (Newcastle). Awarded 2011

 Mansour Helmi -Saudi Arabia- Full Time-Commenced 2007 “The role of planning in the implementation of land use regulations in Jeddah”. First Supervisor Rose Gilroy, Second Supervisor Dr Graham Tipple

Fouz Al-Ahmadi- Saudi Arabia- Full Time- Commenced May 2009 “Housing with care for older women in Saudi Arabia”. First Supervisor Rose Gilroy; Second Supervisor Graham Tipple

 Jeff Corrighan - UK- Part Time commenced Autumn 2012. "Assessing the relationship between the process of authorities engaging with, and empowering communities and the levels of destructive conflict in communities during regeneration". Second Supervisor Zan Gunn.

Sam Clark -UK- commenced January 2014. PhD by Practice. "Exploring the role and design of age targeted housing" . Funded by Churchill Retirement Living. First Supervisor Rose Gilroy; Second Supervisor Prof Adam Sharr

I have examined 9 PhDs at Newcastle and elsewhere

Esteem Indicators

Invited as UK expert on planning and housing for older people to one-day Forum on "Active Aging and Solidary between Generations. National University of Singapore and the EU Centre in Singapore November 30th.2012

Invited to speak at European Housing Forum in Brussels June 5th 2012 on new co-operative housing models for older people. Summary published in http://www.iut.nu/EU/IUT_Brussels/Reports_News/ActiveAgeing_Dec2012.pdf

Keynote speaker at European Network of Housing Research conference in Lillehammer,Norway 2012 and at Gavle, Sweden 2000.

External examiner - currently examining on Masters planning programmes at Cardiff University. I have examined at Sheffield, Stirling, Leicester de Montfort, Birmingham City, Northumbria.

 Member of editorial review board for Journal "Applied Research in Quality of Life"


Undergraduate Teaching

I am module leader on

TCP 1025 Social Worlds

TCP 2005- Housing Policy 

TCP 2029-  Planner in Professional Practice 

 In addition I contribute to 

contribute to TCP 8021 (Developing Countries)

I am a tutor and assessor on TCP 3099 - undergraduate dissertation and on TCP 8099 (PG dissertation)