Cyprus Mail

Universal Design: creating accessible streets for the disabled

Planning for people with disabilities seems to be a challenge for even the best of urban designers; despite good intentions, planners and architects tend to design for the average, non-disabled male.

Add in the challenge of planning in harmony with historic buildings, difficult topography, waterfront access, or the severe geometries of modern architecture, and the needs of the disabled can get more and more sidelined.

Yet accommodating such needs, actually makes urban spaces better for everybody, disabled or not.

In this video, we look at the concept of Universal Design (UD), a term coined by late architect and planner Ronald L. Mace. He defined it as “the design of products and environments to be usable by all people, to the greatest extent possible, without the need for adaptation or specialised design”.

The best approach to serving people with mobility, visual, hearing and other disabilities, therefore, is to apply UD principles from day one, to redevelopment districts, complete streets, plazas, parks, buildings, and more.

View the original video here.

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