Are you 60+ with a keen interest in the public and outdoor spaces in your neighbourhood? We want you to join us as a citizen scientist exploring the places you love visiting. We also want to hear about the places you avoid and the reasons why.

Do our neighbourhoods support our needs to be outdoors and be mobile? Do you always take the same routes to go to your local shops and what are your reasons for that? Are there any particular areas you avoid because you do not like it, and why? How is the condition of the footpaths that you use to go to places?

Researchers at The University of Adelaide invite you to join their research team and become a ‘senior citizen scientist’ as part of a pilot study to test a new method for collecting information about public open and green spaces around your neighbourhood. Your experience and views about these spaces will help town planners, designers, and city councils to design, operate and maintain better public spaces.

What is involved?

We are looking for a wide range of participants from metropolitan, rural and regional areas to join us as Senior Citizen Scientists.

There are very few requirements you need to meet. Senior Citizen Scientists will:

  • Be 60 years and older;
  • Live in South Australia (metro, rural + regional areas);
  • Be available to participate in the project in November or December 2018; and
  • Record as many experiences as you like at any time of the day, night, or week!

What tools do I need to collect and share information?

A new Application (App) that can be used on a smartphone has been designed by the researchers to help record your experiences in public and outdoor spaces at any time of the day, night or week. Alternatively, if you prefer to record information in a hard copy survey, this option is available too.

  1. Use the App on your own smartphone to record photos and information;
  2. Use a digital camera to take photos and complete a hard copy survey of each place you visit; or

Don’t worry, if you don’t have a smartphone or a digital camera, you can still be involved!

  1. The University of Adelaide can loan you a digital camera for a two-week period to use with the hard copy surveys.

Training + Support

The University of Adelaide will run training on how to download and use the App, or the hard copy survey form, in November 2018. To be adaptable to individuals who may not be able to physically attend the training, it will be delivered:

a) In-person at COTA SA, 16 Hutt Street, Adelaide at one of the following sessions:

  • Training Session 1:           Thursday, 1 November, 10:30am-11:30am
  • Training Session 2:           Thursday, 1 November, 1:30-2:30pm
  • Training Session 3:           Wednesday, 7 November 2018, 1:30-2:30pm
  • Training Session 4:           Monday, 12 November 2018: 1:30-2:30pm

b) Over-the-phone to support rural and regional participants, or those who find it difficult to travel to the city.

You will also receive a set of simple instructions to remind you what to do later and you will have access to the research team if you need any help. You will also be entered into a draw to win one of three $100.00 gift vouchers from Coles/Myer/Target

Register your interest with The Plug-in, COTA SA

The Plug-in at COTA SA is partnering with The University of Adelaide and will be managing your registration and interest for this project.

If you are interested in participating, please contact The Plug-in on 8224 5588, or register online by clicking here and ensure you select ‘Senior Citizen Scientist’ in the project options on the registration form.

When you have registered your interest, we will contact you to understand your preferred training option and arrange a suitable time.

Are you already a member of The Plug-in? If you have previously registered and joined the community, simply call us on 8224 5588 or email to register your interest for the Senior Citizen Scientist project.

About the researchers

This research activity is part of a co-design pilot study conducted by the University of Adelaide in partnership with Office for the Ageing, SA Health to trial a ‘citizen science’ approach to evaluating green and public spaces. The results will be used to inform a larger research proposal.

If you would like more information about the study before joining the project, please contact the researchers:

Dr Helen Ruth-Barrie


Ph:         8313-3560

Prof Veronica Soebarto


Ph:         8313-5695