Convivial City 2020: a 10-day ethnographic research conducted to inform Vancouver’s ongoing task in creating a more age inclusive city.

Defined by the World Health Organization (WHO), an age-friendly city “encourages active ageing by optimizing opportunities for health, participation, and security in order to enhance the quality of life as people age.” I was contracted by InWithForward to conduct ethnographic and qualitative research for this goal.

With one in five Vancouver seniors being unable to speak English and two-thirds of the senior population being immigrants, I was responsible for Mandarin and Cantonese communication for recruitment and interview facilitations with Chinese seniors. The research touchpoints were then translated and transcribed and organized into recordings and storycards.


ethnographic research & translation


quality of life, ageism, inclusion, conviviality, public service


Muryani Kasdani

Research Process

  • Recruited seniors to participate in the project at locations such as churches, community centres, hospitals, and neighbourhood houses
  • Collected contact information and scheduled interview dates with interested seniors
  • Paired seniors with researchers fluent in their language and met at places of their choices
  • Used various worksheets to facilitate and talk with seniors about their life experiences, satisfaction and concerns of city infrastructure and services
  • Organized the collected touchpoints and recordings
  • Transcribed and designed senior profile cards
  • Scheduled story return meetings with seniors and asked them to edit and approve the cards’ content
  • Presented finalized story cards and research outcomes to City of Vancouver during the playback session
  • Delivered participants their story cards by mail or social media

A pop-up station was established at a community centre to meet with senior program frequenters

Research interview held at a senior's house whom we met through a local Chinese church

People Cards

People cards are created based on a unified template, featuring direct quotes from research participants and a written short story about them. The card's backside is more focused on ethnographic data, including categories such as living situations, stressors, levels of loneliness, desire for change, health conditions, and perceived financial well-being.

People cards containing personal narratives and ethnographic data were first edited by the elders themselves and then shown to representatives from the city

Playback Summary

A summary document was created to add the representatives' comments and votes on InWithForward's research outcomes and presented materials.

Spreads from playback summary. The coloured boxes include City of Vancouver representatives' votes and ideas on specific insights or proposals.