‘Retirement Living Explained’ guide commended at national research awards

A new guide entitled Retirement Living Explained: A Guide for Planning and Design Professionals was commended in the “Planning Consultancy” category at the 2017 Royal Town Planning Institute’s (RTPI) Awards for Research Excellence.

Published by the School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape at Newcastle University in partnership with Churchill Retirement Living and the Housing LIN (Learning and Improvement Network), the new 68-page guide – available to download here – provides a fresh perspective on exactly how retirement living should be defined

The guide represents the culmination of a three year PhD project carried out by Newcastle University’s Sam Clark and funded by Churchill Retirement Living, with its developments and Owners providing the basis for the research. Its key conclusions are that specialist retirement housing offers wide-reaching benefits that meet the three pillars of sustainable development – economic, environmental, and social – and that these benefits apply to individuals, communities and society as a whole.

The Awards for Research Excellence are run by the RTPI to recognise and promote high quality, impactful spatial planning research from RTPI accredited planning schools, and planning consultancies around the world. The winners and highly commended entries were announced on 12 September during the 2017 UK-Ireland Planning Research Conference at Queens University Belfast. 

The guide’s author, Sam Clark, said: 

Retirement Living Explained is the product of a close, yet critical collaboration with Churchill Retirement Living, and I’m delighted it has received this national recognition. The research for this publication was made possible through full access to Churchill’s staff and customers, with all parties being open to a reflective and reflexive process. As an architect, I am particularly grateful for the opportunity to pursue applied research within the construction industry, in the form of a PhD by Creative Practice.

Andrew Burgess, Churchill Retirement Living’s Land & Planning Director, said:

At Churchill we believe that clearly defined types of housing for older people are required, including retirement living, and that local authorities should be setting specific housing targets for each type. Retirement Living Explained can help inform a more co-ordinated local and national approach towards achieving this. I would like to thank the RTPI for giving it the recognition it deserves, as well as Sam Clark and Newcastle University for their excellent work on producing it.

Dr Michael Harris, RTPI’s Head of Research, said:

The winners and commended entries have demonstrated how academic researchers can positively reach out to practitioners and policymakers with insights and finding to inform and influence their work. I am pleased these awards have been able to celebrate such impactful, high quality research again this year.