Angelika Gabauer


Ageing, Space and Subjectivity: A Study of Ageing in the City

Photo © L.Sanchez    

The topic of age has received growing attention in recent decades; both in terms of the absolute number of old and very old people and their relative population share, and in terms of its discursive dominance in media debates, politics and academia. In context of growing life expectancy of urban populations and rising number of people in need of care accompanied with societal trends of singularization and reorganization of family structures, city authorities, governments and professionals in planning, architecture and urban design are increasingly confronted with questions of how to create and provide urban environments that meet these demographical changes. This doctoral project seeks to contribute to the conceptual debates around ‘ageing societies’ with a specific focus on ‘the ageing subject’ in context of urban space production. It explores the interplay of ageing, space and subjectivity with the aim of unravelling the role and meaning of spatial arrangements for ageing, and how in their design and planning certain ideas and perceptions of ageing are inscribed, (re)produced and possibly contested. In this vein, the project conceptually links discourses of ageing research with theories of (urban) space and subject formation. With an empirical focus on Vienna, it uses a qualitative study to pursue the research-guiding question of what role urban spaces play and what effects they have in the formation of ageing subjects. 

Supervision   Prof. Dr. phil. DI (FH) Sabine Knierbein (TU Wien, Austria)