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Journal of Aging Research
Volume 2012, Article ID 148287, 12 pages
Research Article

Revisiting the Role of Neighbourhood Change in Social Exclusion and Inclusion of Older People

1Centre de Recherche et d'Expertise en Gérontologie Sociale (CREGÉS), C.S.S.S. Cavendish, 5800 Cavendish Boulevard, Montréal, QC, Canada H4W 2T5
2School of Social Work, McGill University, Montréal, QC, Canada H3A 2A7
3École de Travail social, Université du Québec à Montréal, Montréal, QC, Canada H2L 4Y2
4Centre Urbanisation Culture Société, Université INRS, 385 Rue Sherbrooke Est, Montréal, QC, Canada H2X 1E3

Received 13 May 2011; Accepted 18 July 2011

Academic Editor: Frank Oswald

Copyright © 2012 Victoria F. Burns et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Objective. To explore how older people who are “aging in place” are affected when the urban neighbourhoods in which they are aging are themselves undergoing socioeconomic and demographic change. Methods. A qualitative case study was conducted in two contrasting neighbourhoods in Montréal (Québec, Canada), the analysis drawing on concepts of social exclusion and attachment. Results. Participants express variable levels of attachment to neighbourhood. Gentrification triggered processes of social exclusion among older adults: loss of social spaces dedicated to older people led to social disconnectedness, invisibility, and loss of political influence on neighbourhood planning. Conversely, certain changes in a disadvantaged neighbourhood fostered their social inclusion. Conclusion. This study thus highlights the importance of examining the impacts of neighbourhood change when exploring the dynamics of aging in place and when considering interventions to maintain quality of life of those concerned.