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City spaces transformed by financial crisis


“THE ONGOING FINANCIAL crisis in Greece has had a formidable impact on everyday social interaction among city dwellers in Athens, radically altering the urban experience for all,” suggests urban anthropologist Dr Dimitris Dalakoglou. A rise in racism and xenophobia, for example, changed the entire experience of the city for a substantial part of its population, many of whom felt afraid to walk the streets because of fear of racist attacks. Prompted by the growth of neo-Nazism, Dr Dalakoglou and his team in Athens launched an online digital map showing areas of the city where racist attacks had taken place. The information continues to be updated by researchers but also individual users, migrant communities and anti-racist and anti-fascist organisations to provide a visual means for people to understand the extent and geography of racist attacks. The map is part of a wider project – City at a Time of Crisis – which focused on the transformation which has taken place in Athens’ public spaces during Greece’s economic troubles. City at a Time of Crisis raised awareness of the social and societal deterioration caused by the crisis and highlighted the relationship between austerity, poverty, racism and urban infrastructural transformations. A relationship which, researchers believe, has ramifications not only in Greece but across other European nations. n


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Contact Dr Dimitris Dalakoglou, University of Sussex Email dd94@sussex.ac.uk Web www.crisis-scape.net Telephone 01908 655592 ESRC Grant Number ES/K001663/1


Technology helps elderly keep tabs on their health


A TOUCH-SCREEN computer designed to collect reliable data on diet can help detect malnutrition among older people, says a new study. Poor nutrition has a negative impact on the physical and mental wellbeing of older people, but spotting those at risk of malnutrition had previously been difficult. Now, the NANA (Novel Assessment of Nutrition and Ageing) toolkit offers a simple monitoring system for older people to record what they eat and drink. This toolkit, researchers believe, could reap benefits in a range of institutional settings, including care homes and hospitals, where older people are at risk of malnutrition. The study further revealed that


older people were not only happy to use this new technology in their own homes and comfortable recording daily what they ate and drank, but were also prepared to record their mood, physical activity and complete cognitive measures every day.


“Our findings highlight the


potential for early detection and intervention not only for older people at risk of malnutrition but also frailty, cognitive decline and mood disorders,”


8 SOCIETY NOW SPRING 2015


researcher Professor Arlene Astell points out. Data collected by NANA could address the desire of many older people to ‘see how I am doing’ as well as alerting, for example, their GP to any significant changes in their health. NANA has policy implications, she continues, in respect of its potential for establishing prospective monitoring of older adults, particularly those identified as being at particular risk of health conditions associated with ageing. In addition to the immediate


benefits to the current generation of older adults, the information collected would provide a large dataset to profile the emergence of some of the major health conditions associated with ageing. Looking ahead, the technology could also be adapted for use with children or people with particular health needs, such as diabetes or weight management. n


i Contact Professor Arlene Astell,


University of Sheffield Email a.astell@sheffield.ac.uk Web www.newdynamics.group.shef.ac.uk/ assets/files/NDA%20Findings_34.pdf Telephone 0114 2220867 ESRC Grant Number RES-354-25-0003


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