Urban ageing is an emerging domain that mixes two challenges of current societies: the ageing of the population and the increasing urbanisation. While ageing in place has demonstrated numerous benefits, some social sectors question whether the city is the right environment for ageing, since cities are home to many of the social problems that characterise contemporary societies. Urban environments are widely described as rootless in most academic articles, with a focus on the impersonality, transience, and segmentation of links between city dwellers. However, this portrayal coexists with contrasting views of urban life that instead emphasise the importance of the local setting and other experiences of attachment to the place of residence. From the age and gender perspectives, in some urban areas, the neighbourhood plays a fundamental role in the lives of many older women, as a natural setting for interaction and an area conducive to collaborative relationships and practical and emotional support in times of need. This article analyses the role that the local space plays in the lives of older women, the value they attach to it and the meaning they attribute to neighbourhood relations in the local urban environment. In order to analyse this reality, the Universidad (Malasaña) neighbourhood, has been selected as a case study, a central area in Madrid (Spain) exposed to numerous processes of transformation, which shows the highest rate of residential mobility in the area. Despite this reality, in a context marked by new difficulties, the conclusion shows that elderly women have a strong attachment to their neighbourhood. This attachment is not necessarily characterised by deep friendships, but by the existence of a significant social network that responds in case of need.
ageing in place; neighbourhood; older women; place attachment