Enabling Street Mobility for Elders (ESME)


The ESME project aims to build understanding of how we can create enabling environments for elders that improve mobility, wayfinding, and cognitive decision making. We’re interested in whether seniors living adjacent to ‘high-stress’ roads (busy, polluted roads) are at greater risk from reduced cognitive navigational ability and overall wellbeing compared to those living near ‘low-stress’ streets (quieter streets with street trees and vegetation). Using a range of air quality and body sensors, we will capture spatially precise environmental data (air quality, noise pollution), psychophysiological data (subjective wellbeing, heart rate variability, skin conductance) and employ cognitive mapping techniques to capture information about seniors’ everyday journeys.

The findings will be utilized in a stakeholder and participant workshop at the end of the project to explore what changes in the built environment are required to improve walkability for wellness, and how seniors can help act as agents of change in that process.

To find out more about the project contact Jenny Roe: jjr4b@virginia.edu

Partners: UVa Environmental Sciences, Environmental and Urban Planning, Engineering and the Center for Design & Health, and Jefferson Area Board for Aging (JABA).