• Assistant Professor, School Of Architecture
  • Director of Graduate Studies, School Of Architecture

Research Keywords

  • Sustainable Design
  • Environmental Health
  • Architecture

Research Groups

  • Healthy Aging Resilient Places (HARP) Lab, Research Professor. University of Utah Center on Aging. 07/01/2021 - present.
  • From Sheltered in Place to Thriving In Place, Research Professor. College of Architecture & Planning. 02/01/2021 - 05/31/2022.
  • Center on Aging, Research Professor. 09/14/2020 - present.

Creative Research

  • Design Drawings & Proposal for a renovation to the women's area at the Pacific Garden Mission, the oldest homeless shelter in the City of Chicago. Adaptation, submitted 03/26/2021.
  • Exterior facade renovation study for a mid-century modern home Commission, completed 02/03/2020.


  • Co-Producing Knowledge about Age-Friendly Places: Perspectives from the Intermountain West As the twin forces of population aging and rapid urbanization transform the dynamics between places and health, we recognize new modes of collaborative research are needed to reflect the heterogeneity of older adults and diversity of environments where people live. The concept of age-friendly places has grown from a framework around cities into a social movement that has manifested into a multitude of settings including age-friendly campuses, health systems, businesses and neighborhoods. There is need in the context of local cultures to engage older adults in co-producing knowledge about broader ecosystems of age-friendly environments. In parallel, there is need on a global scale to broaden an understanding and use of participatory methods which are inclusive of historically marginalized and underserved older adults. Underlying these needs at both local and global scales is an urgency for cross-cultural, comparative research to measure outcomes and improve the livability of places for aging. This paper is structured around a rapid review of community-based participatory research methods designed to engage older adults in co-producing knowledge about age-friendly environments. Authors draw from their interdisciplinary backgrounds in architecture, planning and social work in order to provide an overview of participatory processes which recast older adults as active participants in co-producing visions for age-friendly places. We draw from our own work in the Intermountain West, where a number of flagship issues intersect with the prospects of creating age-friendly places including affordable housing, environmental degradation, and mental health crises. Focus is directed at co-creation methods which destabilize traditional, top-down approaches to placemaking, and address the widening of economic, social and health disparities by engaging marginalized and underserved populations of older adults. Conference Paper, Refereed, Presented, 12/04/2023.
  • Building Age-friendly Ecosystems Through Neighborhoods, Health Systems and Campuses Age friendliness has grown from an idea into a social movement that recognizes diversity among older adults, and integrates multidisciplinary work in research, policy, planning and design. Contemporary challenges related to housing affordability, mental health and climate change underscore dramatic disparities among older adults. Increasingly we see evidence of ways that places and policies have dire impacts on aging, particularly for historically marginalized and underserved populations of older adults. This paper reports findings from a symposium that examines age friendliness from a place-based approach by examining neighborhoods, campuses and health environments as sites uniquely positioned to catalyze equity in aging. The symposium was convened in order to consider how age friendly environments are addressing urgent social, environmental and health challenges, and creating measurable outcomes that promote aging well for all. Knowledge was generated through a series of methods at the symposium including lectures, panel discussions, a world café, focus group discussions, and a student-ideas competition; outcomes include a website, a collaboration resource guide and a forthcoming book. Key findings focus on the benefits of shared language and metrics across place-types that can be applied to collectively transform the social, physical and economic landscape of aging. Implications to radically re-imagining the partnerships and cross-over between place types are significant not just to designing age-inclusive places and policies, but ultimately to creating an ecosystem that embraces longevity as an asset and advances equity in aging. Other, Accepted, 11/01/2023.
  • Design for Intergenerational Aging: A Multidisciplinary Approach - This session highlights a design investigation into intergenerational design that was conducted through collaboration with the Harvey A. Friedman Center for Aging at Washington University in St. Louis and the Sau Po Centre for Aging at Hong Kong University. Both provided multidisciplinary perspectives, support, and feedback for the design process. Several themes emerged including adaptability and flexibility. The social and cultural dimensions related to stereotypes, diversity, and inclusivity ranged, and the cross-cultural comparison between dynamics in St. Louis and Hong Kong provided rich territory for dialogue and exchange. Presentation, Presented, 09/20/2021.
  • Co-Diagnosis: Designing for Behavioral and Physical Health; Presentation to the Healthcare Design Conference (HDC) in collaboration with Emily Johnson, Virginia Pankey and Donna Ware. Presentation, Presented, 10/26/2020.


  • Valerie Greer & Hong, A., Agutter, J., Garcia, I., Caylor, N., Van Natter, J. & Canham, S. (2023). From Sheltered in Place to Thriving in Place: Pandemic Places of Aging. The Gerontologist. Published, 07/07/2023.
  • Valerie Greer & Canham, S., Hong, A., Caylor, N. & Van Natter, J. (2023). Shifting Perspectives: Outlooks on Aging in Place Through the COVID-19 Era. Ageing & Society. Published, 06/01/2023.
  • Valerie Greer & Cahnam, S.L., Hong, A., Agutter, J., Garcia, I. & Van Natter, J. (2023). Aging in Place through the Covid-19 Pandemic: Perspectives from Aging Service Providers. Journal of Applied Gerontology. Published, 03/01/2023.
  • Andy Hong (2023). Age-Friendly Community Interventions for Health and Social Outcomes: A Scoping Review. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. Published, 01/18/2023.
  • Valerie Greer & Ware, D., Johnson, E. & Pankey, V. (2022). Co-Diagnosis: An Interdisciplinary Design Study of an Inpatient Unit for Mental and Physical Health. Academy Journal: Academy of Architecture for Health. Published, 12/01/2022.
  • Valerie Greer & Linda Edelman, Editors (2022). Age-friendly Ecosystems: Expanding Equity in Aging through Community Places and Practices. Springer Nature. Accepted, 11/01/2022.
  • Greer, Valerie & Diaz Moore, Keith (2021). Autonomy, Identity & Architecture: Design in the COVID-19 Era. Springer. Published, 04/05/2021.
  • Greer, Valerie & Johnson, Emily; Hsu, Josephine (2020). Variables and Outcomes in Patient Room Design: A Study of Design Hypotheses. Health Environments Research & Design Journal. 20. Published, 09/15/2020.