Memory-Friendly Neighbourhoods marked a new, interdisciplinary collaboration between research centres at the Universities of Stirling and Edinburgh.  Addressing the policy-prominent concept of 'dementia-friendly communities', the programme met the urgent need for insights to guide the development of environments for ageing-in-place and lifelong social inclusion for those affected by dementia.  

Working co-creatively with policy, practice and not-for-profit partners, and experts from Europe and North America, the Memory Friendly Neighbourhoods team synthesised evidence from national and international studies in design for wellbeing and the lived experience of people with dementia.  Setting an agenda for future collaboration, the programme was innovative in using live sites to explore ideas, in using new technologies for both activities and outputs and in integrating robust, academic research into the social networks of people with dementia.

Resources from our first event are now freely available online. These resources include:

  • Pdf downloads of the outputs from our two interactive group activities
  • Podcasts of speakers’ presentations
  • Videos of speakers’ presentations
  • Photographs from the event


Our second event in Glasgow in September included a day’s site-based activities with local older people in the town of Kirkintilloch. You can watch videos from the first of the two days on YouTube, including presentations from:


  • Jim Pearson (Alzheimer Scotland);
  • Anna Buchanan (Life Changes Trust);
  • Sandra Shafii (Motherwell Town Centre Dementia Friendly Community programme);
  • Shirley Law (Dementia Services Development Centre and Dementia-Friendly Stirling);
  • Ann Pascoe (Dementia Friendly Communities in East Sutherland);
  • Julie Christie (Partnership Lead for Dementia in East Dunbartonshire)
  • Catharine Ward Thompson (OPENspace research centre)
  • Sarah Keyes (University of Edinburgh) with Henry Rankin (Chair of the Scottish Dementia Working Group)

Programme Team

Dr Richard Ward, University of Stirling (Lecturer in Dementia Studies)
Professor Catharine Ward Thompson, University of Edinburgh (Professor of Landscape Architecture and Director of the OPENspace research centre)
Maire Cox, OPENspace centre (communications)
Professor Lars-Christer Hyden, University of Linkoping, Centre for Dementia Research
Professor Richard Coyne, University of Edinburgh (Professor of Architectural Computing)
Kate Fearnley, Alzheimer Scotland
Rowena Statt ARB RIAS, Anderson Bell Christie Architects (Associate)
Diarmaid Lawlor, Architecture and Design Scotland (Head of Urbanism)

Final Report