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 ways, but it is characterised by deficits in language and social skills, making tasks such as shopping, asking for directions, planning a route and navigating crowded areas testing.

Now one architecture student has taken a fresh look at town planning in a bid to create more accessible urban environments that are inclusive of people with autism, like her brother.

Universal Design (UD) is an approach to design that increases the potential for developing a better quality of life for a wide range of individuals. It is a design process that enables and empowers a diverse population by improving human performance, health and wellness, and social participation (Steinfeld and Maisel, 2012). It creates products, systems, and environments to be as usable as possible by as many people as possible regardless of age, ability or situation.