When a city is drafting a new master plan, putting up some posters suggesting citizens come to a public meeting just isn’t enough. Relying on the input from only those who bother to show up doesn’t cut it if inclusive planning is the goal. That’s why Cambridge — which is at the very beginning stages of drafting a new master plan — has ambitious outreach goals for what will be a multiyear process.
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.