Community Development Practice Hub

Community Development Practice Hub

The Community Development Practice Hub is a resource for people and organisations who ‘work with’ people in Birmingham so they can take collective action to make changes to things that are important to them and their communities. 

We aim to connect, inspire and upskill community development practitioners across Birmingham.

Come join us on this exciting journey, as we collaborate with the sector to offer a tailored approach with a focus on Birmingham-specific learning, challenges, and achievements.  

Special issue article: Urban Public Health Emergencies and The Covid-19 Pandemic

Tine Buffel, Sophie Yarker, Chris Phillipson, Luciana Lang, Patty Doran, Mhorag Goff - The University of Manchester, UK
and Camilla Lewis, Newcastle University, UK


This paper develops the argument that post-COVID-19 recovery strategies need to focus on building back fairer cities and communities, and that this requires a strong embedding of ‘agefriendly’ principles to support marginalised groups of older people, especially those living in deprived urban neighbourhoods, trapped in poor quality housing. It shows that older people living in such areas are likely to experience a ‘double lockdown’ as a result of restrictions imposed by social distancing combined with the intensification of social and spatial inequalities.

This argument is presented as follows: first, the paper examines the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on older people, highlighting how the pandemic is both creating new and reinforcing existing inequalities in ageing along the lines of gender, class, ethnicity, race, ability and sexuality. Second, the paper explores the role of spatial inequalities in the context of COVID-19, highlighting how the pandemic is having a disproportionate impact on deprived urban areas already affected by cuts to public services, the loss of social infrastructure and pressures on the voluntary sector.

Finally, the paper examines how interrelated social inequalities at both the individual and spatial level are affecting the lives of older people living in deprived urban neighbourhoods during the pandemic. The paper concludes by developing six principles for ‘age-friendly’ community recovery planning aimed at maintaining and improving the quality of life and wellbeing of older residents in the post-pandemic city.

Download paper 

Tine Buffel, Department of Sociology and Manchester Institute for Collaborative Research on Ageing, The University of
Manchester, Humanities Bridgeford Street, Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9PL, UK.
Email: [email protected]