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Mirjam Due Tiemensma

Mirjam Due Tiemensma (Industrial PhD)

Dementia-friendly Copenhagen: Co-creating an inclusive city for people living with dementia

Project Description: Dementia has gained increasing international attention this past decade due to public health concerns about the increasing number of people living with the condition worldwide. Combined with the increased urbanization, more people with dementia will be living within a city context. As a response to these public health concerns, the municipality of Copenhagen is exploring, how the city can become dementia-friendly. The concept of dementia-friendly communities has been suggested by the WHO and Alzheimer’s International to be an approach to ensure the inclusion of people living with dementia in society. But how can the city of Copenhagen become more dementia-friendly? And what is dementia-friendliness within a city context? These are questions that will be explored in the Ph.D.-project Dementia-friendly Copenhagen: Co-creating an inclusive city for people living with dementia. Together with the Department of Elder Care and Innovation of the City of Copenhagen’s Health and Care Administration and the Unit of Health Promotion Research at the University of Southern Denmark this PhD-project will explore everyday life in the city is experienced by people living with dementia, and in addition how dementia-friendly initiatives can be co-created in collaboration with people living with dementia, their informal caregivers, and the local community.

Project Aim: The Ph.D. project's objective is to provide knowledge about the everyday lives of people living with dementia and their informal caregivers in the city, and how dementia-friendly initiatives can be adapted to a city context.

Problem Statement:

How can the municipality of Copenhagen create a create a city that is inclusive for people living with dementia?


The project is built around three phases. The first phase consists of a scoping literature review, through which the concept of Dementia-Friendly Communities will be explored and mapped. The second phase consists of ethnographic fieldwork. During this phase, the Ph.D.-student will illuminate how everyday life is experienced by home dwelling people living with early-stage dementia at through life story interviews, social network mapping, home tours, and walking interviews. Together with the research participants, experienced capabilities, opportunities, and challenges of people living with dementia in Copenhagen will be identified. The third phase consists of workshops through which solutions to the opportunities and challenges, discovered in the first and second phase, will be created and piloted. In this phase the participants of the first phase will be invited to participate in the workshops.

Results: Results will be shared with the municipality of Copenhagen, research participants, the University of Southern Denmark, and the scientific community. Results will be published in scientific journals, reports for the municipality of Copenhagen, scientific posters, and presentations at the university, municipality of Copenhagen and conferences.

Time frame: May 2021 – April 2024 

Main supervisor: Pernille Tanggaard Andersen, Unit for Health Promotion Research, Department of Public Health, University of Southern Denmark

Industry Supervisor: Berit Soon Olsen, Konstitueret afdelingsleder, Afdeling for Fællesskaber, Center for Ældreliv og Innovation, Københavns Kommunes Sundheds- og omsorgsforvaltning.

Last Updated 20.10.2023