Universal Design for Streets: A guide

A street in Seattle showing pedestrian areas.The American Society of Landscape Architects has a guide to universally designed streets. Green, complete streets, which incorporate green infrastructure and safely separate pedestrians, bicyclists, vehicles, and public transport, use strategies to reduce reckless driving behaviour, rather than designing around the most reckless driver. Each of the topics below is explained in greater detail in the Guide. There is also a video (below) showing how people with autism or who are neurodiverse can find streets and public places overwhelming. The same can be said for people who are hard of hearing. The picture from the Guide is of Bell Street Park, Seattle.

    • Wide sidewalks and pathways
    • Areas for socializing
    • Clearly defined spaces
    • Attenuated acoustic environment
    • Places of enclosure
    • Perpendicular tactile paving
    • Pedestrian safety islands
    • Flexible seating
    • Frequent seating with arms
    • Well-lit and consistent lighting
    • Green infrastructure

Autistic people can be overstimulated by the amount of sensory information that is present in the built environment. This video offers insight into what this sensory overload can be like for autistic people.