Visions of a City for All: Resources, Choices and Factors Supporting and Impeding Universal Design in the Urban Development Process

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Sammanfattning

Despite laws, policies and visions to create cities and societies for all, barriers still exclude persons with disabilities from using buildings and public places. Our study aimed to identify choices made during the urban development process that include or exclude users in the built environment; how and when these choices arise during the process; and what is needed to implement universal design (UD) as a strategy and tool to secure all users equal opportunities in the built environment.

Despite laws, policies and visions to create cities and societies for all, barriers still exclude persons with disabilities from using buildings and public places. Our study aimed to identify choices made during the urban development process that include or exclude users in the built environment; how and when these choices arise during the process; and what is needed to implement universal design (UD) as a strategy and tool to secure all users equal opportunities in the built environment.

Aspects impeding and supporting UD and conflicting visions and goals were identified in all phases, as well as the need for tools to implement UD. The findings show that accessibility for all users is dealt with (too) late in the process, often giving rise to special solutions. Urban trends such as densification and high exploitation can cause the exclusion of some users, and an unbalanced view of sustainable development prioritising ecological aspects puts high demands on users’ abilities. The findings also show how UD appears more clearly in remodelling projects than in new constructions. A strong vision from the start to build for all users clearly supports UD throughout the process. Other factors such as pre-studies that include human diversity, allocation of resources and experts’ early opinions also prove to be clear drivers for UD.

Overall, the findings reveal a demand for solutions that can maintain early visions and goals throughout the processes. We conclude by providing seven recommendations for addressing these challenges.
Originalspråkengelska
Sidor (från-till)63-78
Antal sidor16
TidskriftThe Journal of Public Space
Volym7
Nummer2
StatusPublished - 2022 juni 27

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ)

  • Tvärvetenskapliga studier
  • Arkitektur

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