Curitiba Bus System: Good planning in action

Picture shows a bus offloading passengers at a raised tube shaped bus stop. The floor of the bus stop is level with the entry to the busThirty years ago, Curitiba’s forward-thinking and cost-conscious planners integrated public transportation into all the other elements of the urban planning system. They initiated a system that focused on meeting the transportation needs of all people. Consequently they claim to have a system that is both efficient and accessible.

While the tube shaped bus shelters seem a little cumbersome being raised up to be level with the bus entry, they shelter travellers from the weather and create a relatively level entry to and from the bus. They also claim that time spent at each stop is less than 30 seconds. Read more about the planning of this rapid transport system in southern Brazil. It should be noted that this is not common practice in other parts of Brazil. See this paper for the other side of the story and for a case study on the accessibility (or otherwise) of a local hospital.

Picture shows a person in a manual wheelchair entering onto the short yellow ramp into the bus from the tube shaped bus shelter

Woman with a baby stroller using the platform lift to get onto the raised bus stop platform .The bus stop is a tube shaped shelter

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A new way with wayfinding

Picture of a street sign showing Circular Quay and Millers PointLee Wilson provides us with yet another informative article in Sourceable where he lists the key features of good wayfinding. He also discusses the new technologies and laments that little information, if any, is included in the new Draft Wayfinding Standard . Wayfinding is not just a matter of good signage – it is much more than that.

For those of us who will never know which way is North, architectural cues, symbols and signs are essential for reading and understanding the environment and being able to get around safely and easily.

 

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A citizen’s guide to better streets

8 80 cities_entry_pedestrians-blog-postThis publication is aimed at citizens wanting to gain a better understanding of how transportation is planned so that they can contribute to better street and road planning. While this extensive handbook does not focus on universal design per se, it does focus on greater inclusion, activity and participation in public areas. Published by AARP, it is specific to North America in some of its advice, but the handbook should be of interest to anyone interested in transportation and street planning and community engagement. The many photos in the publication show some good examples.880Cities-logo

Download the publication from 8-80 cities website 

The main website also has many other resources.

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Achieving full participation through UD

Achieving participation thru UDThis European report sets the scene for promoting universal design and setting an action plan in motion. Universal design is viewed as a strategy to ensure equal and democratic rights in society for all individuals. It covers participation in: political and public life; cultural life; information and communication; education; employment; the built environment; transport; community living; legal protection; research and development; and awareness raising.  Examples of good practice are also included. This links well with the eight domains of life outlined in the WHO Age Friendly Cities and Communities program.

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Meet the Normals – Adventures in universal design

meet the normalsHaving trouble convincing others that universal design is for everyone and not just ‘disabled’ design’? 
This 6 minute video brings to the fore some of the basic design considerations from the perspective of a family group attempting an everyday activity of leaving the house and catching a bus. It also goes through the process of how to design for everyone. The video was produced by the Centre for Excellence in Universal Design in Ireland. It has closed captions.

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Universal Design and Visitability: from Accessibility to Zoning

universal design and visitability front coverThis publication contains a chapter on page 97 by Olav Bringa. His work is the forerunner to the landmark document “Norway Universally Designed by 2025“.  It gives an overview of the change processes needed to bring about a change in attitude from inclusion being a “social services job” to “everyone’s job”.  Other chapters cover different areas. Although it was published in 2007, most topics are still current due to the slow movement on the issues. Included within the 9 chapters are: The Seven Principles of Universal Design in Planning Practice; Universal Design in Transportation; and Inclusive Housing and Neighbourhood Design.

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Urban Street Design Guide – Book Review

Journal of Planning coverBook reviews can provide useful information in their own right. The link to this review in the Journal of Planning, Education and Research only gives the first page as the full version requires library access or payment to access. However, it provides sufficient insights to the book to show that this is a comprehensive guide for anyone involved in street design.

 

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