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Dr Sophie Yarker

Biography I am a Lecturer in Health Geography in the School of Science, Engineering and Environment at the University of Salford.
I have a background in social and urban geography with research interests in the relationship between place, wellbeing and urban change.

I have previously held positions as a Teaching Fellow at Newcastle University and Research Associate and Research Fellow at Aberystwyth University and the University of Manchester.
Research Interests My research interests are focused around four main areas:

- Holistic understandings of wellbeing conceptualised through
belonging, identity and social connections.
- How urban environments can support healthy ageing and the
impacts of urban change on the ability to age well in place for
different groups.
- Neighbourhood practices of care, support and solidarity and the
different community and social infrastructures through which
these practices and networks emerge.
- The changing role and nature of civil society in responding to
processes of urban change, resource inequality and societal and
environmental crises.

My PhD explored the experiences of urban regeneration for residents of a social housing estate in Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Here I developed the concepts of local belonging and place attachment to think about the impacts of urban change on the wellbeing of communities.

I have subsequently developed this area of interest through a focus on community and social infrastructures and how the shared spaces where we meet and have social interactions can shape social connections and informal networks of care and support.

Most recently my research has focused on the experiences of older people including the different forms of social participation that can support healthy ageing, the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on social infrastructures of care and support for older people, the role of faith-spaces in creating age-friendly cities and comparing age-friendly policy in seven cities across the world.

My research is committed to working with a range external stakeholders including local and regional government, national charities and campaign organisations and local community and voluntary groups.