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 space would be usable by an 8 year old as well as by an 80 year old. If a space is deemed to be inaccessible, then they provide solutions to improve it.

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.