people on swingset

How to design communities that make residents fitter and healthier

The design of neighbourhoods, offices and green spaces can help to encourage physical activity and combat obesity ...
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illustration of features of an inclusive town

The city that could help people with AUTISM: Planner designs urban hub to make transport, jobs and public spaces more inclusive for her brother

Finding your way around a bustling city can be difficult – and it can be even trickier if you suffer from autism. The condition affects people in a variety of ...
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person riding bike in a complete streets setting

Complete Streets Toolkit

GO TO 2040 recognizes the need for a modern, efficient transportation system to support the growth, diversity, and prosperity of the region.  To help achieve this, the plan recommends policies, ...
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three older men sitting on a bench conversing

Time to Think Differently

Edward Steinfeld, AIA and Director of the IDeA Center, wrote a fantastic article for the American Architectural Foundation about the need for age-friendly community design. Steinfeld argues that the creation ...
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justin jones speaking at a policy event

Complete Streets Policy Adds to Momentum in Hamilton

On June 26, the SPRC hosted a policy event to gather feedback about a draft Complete Streets policy for Hamilton. The success of this event is one of many indicators ...
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people walking in street india

Right to Walk in Chennai, India

Universally Designed cities need to be walkable cities, where pedestrians can easily and safely access goods, services and social actives. Unfortunately, many cities were not designed this way. The Hindu, ...
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logo of city of new orleans department of public works

The City of New Orleans Drafting a Public Right-of-Way Transition Plan

The city of New Orleans is drafting a public right-of-way transition plan that will provide a blueprint for addressing accessibility needs for people with disabilities, and will establish priorities to ...
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older man playing violin for children

Future Communities Must be Sustainable and UD

We came across a great post on the American Architectual Foundation's website that not only outlines the importance of Universal Design and visitability, but also explores their relationship to sustainable ...
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close up of person in wheelchair pointing near flowers

Color-Coded Accessibility Map

The disAbilities Resource Centre in Queenstown, Australia has created a color-coded map detailing the accessibility of the streets and footpaths in the area. The map can act as a guide ...
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close up of book on top of a site planning map

Can Re-Zoning Save the Suburbs

Aaron Murphy, of the website Empowering the Mature Mind, has written a great piece about how re-zoning and creative thinking is needed to restructure our communities to be more age ...
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children playing soccer in a courtyard

Urban Lighting System

We often focus on mobility concerns when thinking about Universal Design, but perceptual concerns, like lighting, are just as important. Tom Jarvis, a Research Associate at the Helen Hamlyn Centre ...
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close up of flag of nunavut in canada

New Canadian Accessibility Council

The capital city of Nunavut Canada has recently announced the possibility of a Canadian Accessibility Council being formed next year. The committee would assess accessibility issues within current and future ...
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Stairs with an integrated wheelchair access ramp

Ramps Blended into Stairs

Pictures of ramps incorporated into stairs have been gaining some attention on architecture and design blogs. While some of these designs are indeed beautiful to look at, they tend to ...
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black and white photo of a latrine in india on ground floor

Access to Indian Latrines Studied

Indian latrines are toilets that require people to squat to use. Unfortunately there are no accessible standards for Indian latrines and older people and people with disabilities are greatly handicapped ...
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closeup of woman legs at crosswalk

Timed Traffic Crosswalks Too Fast for Many Elderly: Study

A new British study published June 14 in the journal Age and Ageing found that the time given by automated crosswalks is often insufficient to allow older adults to cross ...
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a vision rendering of a complete street in morrow georgia

What Is a Complete Street?

You may have heard this term before but not understood what it means or how it affects us as we age. A complete street is one that accommodates all people ...
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people walking and wheeling in a park

Turkey’s Changemakers: They Hit the Streets for an Accessible City

A television show in Turkey devoted a recent episode to the issue of accessibility on a citywide scale. "Turkey's Changemakers" focused on an organization known as "Open Istanbul!" and how ...
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two children riding on bikes

Complete Streets: It’s About More Than Just Bike Lanes

Over the last four years, New York City has seen a transportation renaissance on its streets, striking a better balance by providing more space for walking, biking, and transit ...
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streetscape with separate lanes for bikes and cars

Livable Communities: What Good is a UD Home if You Can’t Leave the House?

As Amy Levner, AARP's manager of education on livable communities, explains, "Universally Designed houses and livable communities must be  connected. Universally designed houses enhance mobility and quality of life inside ...
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elderly woman sitting and a girl walking on a stairway

The 8 to 80 Problem: Designing Cities for Young and Old

The non-profit organization 8-80 Cities based in Toronto focuses their efforts on providing solutions for cities to make it accessible to people of all ages. They determine whether a specific ...
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illustration of indianapolis's multimodal corridor and public space design guidelines

Streets as Places: A Way to Fully Complete Streets

The “complete streets” movement has taken the United States by storm, and has even taken root in countries such as Canada and Australia. Few movements have done so much to ...
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RUSSIA: Sochi Without Barriers

From the July 2011 Universal Design Newsletter By: Elaine Ostroff, Hon. AIA, founding director of the Institute for Human Centered Design Late in 2010, the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee and ...
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aia logo

Design Tips for an Age-Friendly City

These tips from the New York Chapter of the American Institute of Architects can help urban planners and policy makers understand how to design a city to be better able ...
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street full of pedestrians on shared street in Brugge, Belgium

Streets are People Places

I have a favorite saying about transportation: “If you plan cities for cars and traffic, you get cars and traffic. If you plan for people and places, you get people ...
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person walking in a hallway with others siting the background
Recreation: A younger gentleman walking with an older man in the park
Public Buildings: aerial view of city buildings
Streets: people crossing an intersection
Housing: exterior view of a suburban house
Transportation: close up of dangling handles on a bus