Access to natural waterfront landscapes

Timber planked pier leading to the ocean. Access to natural waterfront landscapes.Natural landscapes generally receive less attention than landscape architecture. So it is good to see that three Hungarian researchers have taken a serious look at the issues. Their study took the perspective of tourism and looked at tourist habits. They list some of the factors that need to be specifically considered for access to natural waterfront landscapes, including beaches.

The list of factors covers mobility, vision, and hearing. Parking and approach, jetties, pontoons, bathing, and fishing are all discussed. Several photographs show good examples of accessibility.

The authors conclude that waterfront landscapes are popular tourist destinations for everyone. As these are sensitive ecosystems, minimal interventions should be applied when providing access. Small adaptations and just careful design can ensure good access for everyone.

“If inclusive design and nature conservation principles are taken into consideration from the very beginning of the whole design process, access to waterfront landscapes can be spreaded [sic], and the natural values of the landscape remain existing and provide the experience of nature for the human race.”

The title of the article is “Access to Waterfront Landscapes for Tourists Living with Disabilities by Gabriella Szaszák , Albert Fekete and Tibor Kecskés.

Abstract

In this paper an overview on the inclusive spatial design tools providing equal access to waterfront landscapes for tourists living with disabilities will be given. The focus is on close-to-natural areas which are popular because of their recreational potential. These areas present special natural and landscape values, and mostly are ecologically vulnerable. In these important ecological surroundings human presence and landscape values must be harmonized.