This report from Ireland will particularly resonate with people working in local government in Australia. Many of the issues are similar with footpaths being the first item on the list. This report will be a useful resource for anyone involved in urban design at the detailed level. In the end it is the design details that either facilitate or impede residents’ ability to get out and about.
“The Walkability audits highlighted how the behaviour of people using the towns can really impact on how walkable the towns are. Drivers parking their cars on footpaths, blocking dropped kerbs or parking in accessible parking spaces all have a negative impact on people’s ability to get around safely. Other behavioural issues that arose were things like dog owners not cleaning up after their dogs, or hedges and shrubbery not being properly cut back.”
The collection of data was conducted through the Age Friendly Ireland Town Programme, the Centre for Excellence in Universal Design commissioned the research which was funded by the National Disability Authority. Download the report here.
Editor’s note: The issues raised in this report concur with the outcomes of my work with local councils in NSW. Workshops with older residents revealed dissatisfaction with footpaths, seating, wayfinding, parking, safety, and the behaviour of younger people towards older people.