Brisbane 2032: Legacy Strategy

Large scale events such as the Olympic and Paralympic Games are contentious because of the cost of preparation. However, with careful planning, these events can leave a legacy of lasting benefits for communities. That’s the aim of the Brisbane 2032 Legacy Strategy.

Vision: “By 2042, we will live in an inclusive, sustainable and connected society, with more opportunities in life for everyone.”  

A green background with the text for the vision for Elevate 2042 in white.

Universal design is mentioned as an underpinning principle for inclusion and accessibility as if they are inherently the same thing. Consequently, the language defaults to “universal accessibility”. This term is often interpreted as meeting disability access standards in the built environment, which do not guarantee inclusive outcomes.

Similar to other policy documents, universal design is explained at the very end. If universal design is an underpinning principle of all aspects of the Games, it should be at the front of the document. Nevertheless, “universal design” is found under each of the focus areas.

Focus of the strategy

The strategy focuses on society, economy, connectivity and environment. The strategy, titled Elevate 2042, uses the Paralympic Games as the platform for “advancing accessibility and empowering people with disability”.

“Elevate 2042 is the catalyst to create a truly inclusive society
for all. From universal design underpinning everything we build to providing sport for
every Queensland child with a disability, I cannot wait to see what we have achieved by 2042.” Dr Bridie Kean

A diagrammatic wheel showing how the focus areas link together for the Brisbane 2032 strategy.

Inclusion and accessibility

By definition, the Paralympic Games must be inclusive and accessible, and the concepts considered across all aspects of both Games. Co-design processes are mentioned in relation to people with disability but not other marginalised groups.

The key points listed on the Paralympics Australia website for “Advancing accessibility and empowering people with disability” are:

  • People with disability can participate fully in the community
  • And have a voice on housing, transport, education, employment and sport
  • With accessible, inclusive sports infrastructure and events
  • Queensland’s Disability Plan 2022-2027: Together, a Better Queensland
  • Australia’s Disability Strategy 2021-2031
Members of Paralympics Australia are posing for a group photo.

Image from the Paralympics Australia website

Previous Games and their legacies

Arial view of the park at twilight that highlights the green grass of the three main stadia. Sydney Paralympic Games.

Simon Darcy charts the whole process and the disability politics of the Sydney Games. Raju Mahto connects tourism with Olympic Games to show how accessibility supports both the event, the legacy and tourism for all. His paper, “Games Events, Accessible Tourism – A Mile to Go with Special Reference of Paralympics”, has some key findings that apply to any major event. By taking a universal design approach Mahto recommends:

  • Tourism operators must understand the needs of customers who have a disability
  • Accommodation establishments should have several accessible rooms
  • Public transportations systems should consider parallel services and ensure easy access to transport hubs
  • Tourism operators need to partner with Games organisers, the community and the private sector.

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