Global Urban Research Unit

Staff Profile

Professor Rose Gilroy

Professor of Ageing, Policy & Planning



My work explores how home and neighbourhood supports quality of life in later life. As an academic situated in Planning I am interested in the transactional relationship between people and their place that embraces how people individually and collectively may influence their environments. My work frequently uses an everyday life framework to explore strategies for survival or flourishing. I have considerable research experience in qualitative and participatory methods: interviews, focus groups, photo elicitation and visioning. I am committed to change and much of my work is action oriented. I am the founder of the Future Homes Alliance Community Interest Company


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,  Deputy Head of School and most recently Director of Engagement.  I have been a member of the School Management Team  for more than fifteen 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 teaching and learning mentor for the school as well as teaching or research mentor for a small number of recently joined colleagues. I lead for the UoA on impact case studies.

In 2016 I brought together a quadruple helix working group of key Tyneside actors from Newcastle City Council, academia, third and community sectors; business and industry. Together we have developed new modes of housing that will make responses to an ageing population and deep green responses to sustainability with digital innovation informing both agendas. In April 2018 we became the Future Homes Alliance registered at Companies House as a Community Interest Company. We have won funding from Homes England ; from Newcastle University and Newcastle Building Society.

In the summer of 2018 we held an exhibition at the Core as part of the Great Exhibition of the North where the general public was able to see the Future Homes in VR, AR and fly through technologies. This was sponsored by Newcastle Building society. More than 14000 people attended over the 6 weeks

Beyond the University I am a member of Newcastle's Age Friendly City working group;


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.

Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Housing 
Fellow of the Higher Education Academy 

Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (by invitation)


British Gerontology Society
International Society of Quality of Life Studies


Basic French

Informal Interests

I love to read - my idea of hell is having nothing to read. I love cinema, live music, travelling to new places and occasionally can be spotted rambling, bird watching and fishing. 


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. 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.

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

My last large RCUK projects were  MyPlace- led by Newcastle University and  Co-Motion- led by York University.

MyPlace was a three-year inter-disciplinary and collaborative research project between Newcastle University, Northumbria University, Newcastle City Council and Newcastle’s Age Friendly City Initiative. The aim was to

  • Promote an understanding of design issues around the built environment;
  • Support communities to develop research and involving people in design workshops;
  • Documentg and analyzing experiences of access and mobility through people’s journeys in the city and their relationship to place;
  • Communicate findings and ideas through visualisations and stories;
  • Design new products or services to demonstrate what an age friendly city could be like.

Co-Motion  investigated the links between mobility and wellbeing among older people who had experienced common but significant later life transitions such as leaving paid work, starting to live alone, significant loss  of sight or hearing, stopping driving, becoming a carer, moving house, becoming a grandparent. The research had multiple work packages but the core was a two year longitudinal qualitative workpackage with 96 people aged 55 and over.

 I won funding from Innovate UK for a KTP with Hanover Housing Association  and attracted funds from a Scottish businessman which was matched by ESRC to explore the potential of Park Homes as a retirement choice in Scotland.

  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-   “From zenana to zoom in”. Supervised with Janice McLaughlin and Peter Phillimore of Geography, Social Policy and Politics. Awarded 2008.

Ying Chang- China-  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- FT  “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- FT-“The role of planning in the implementation of land use regulations in Jeddah”. First Supervisor Rose Gilroy, Second Supervisor Dr Graham Tipple. External Examiner Dr Claudio de Maghaeles (London) and Dr Zan Gunn (Newcastle) Awarded 2015

Surya Tarigan – Indonesia-Full time Commenced October 2012 “Housing, Home Ownership and Labour Market Change In Indonesia” First Supervisor Dr Suzanne Speak, Second Supervisor Rose Gilroy. ExaminersDr Claudio de Maghaeles (London) and Prof Roger Burrows (Newcastle). Awarded 2017

Sam Clark – UK. Commenced January 2014. “Reflections on Housing older people :Nine Stories of RetirementLiving ”. First Supervisor Rose Gilroy, Second supervisor Professor Adam Sharr. Sponsored by Churchill Retirement Living. Examiners (July 2018) Emeritus Prof Sheila Peace (OU) and Dr Peter Kellett (Newcastle). Awarded 2018 

Fouz Al-Alahmadi- Saudi Arabia- Full Time- Commenced May 2009 “Does the Rubat provide aequate responses to poor women: a case study of Jeddah”. First Supervisor Rose Gilroy; Second Supervisor Dr Graham Tipple. Examiners (April 2017) Dr Harry Smith (Heriot Watt) and Dr Suzanne Speak (Newcastle). Awarded 2018.


I lead two UG modules : A first year module on Social Worlds that explores current societal challenges and a stage 2 option that unpacks UK Housing Policy and Practice.