Dementia and urban design

A street scene showing a wide footpath and a row of shops in the suburbsGuy Luscombe’s presentation at the Universal Design Conference in Sydney showcased a new toolkit he has been working on for Moonee Valley City Council. There are four components to the toolkit:

  • Getting up the street (walking)
  • Getting there and back (the journey)
  • Making walking easy (the pathway)
  • Being out and about (other assistive devices such as signage and wayfinding)

Pedestrian crossings, entrances, places to rest, toilets and lighting are all mentioned. Social and physical isolation for people with dementia and their family members is a major issue. A few small but thoughtful tweaks to designs can make a huge difference. Still being able to reach the shops should also not be forgotten – small businesses could gain from inclusive urban design.

Update: You can download the Age n’ Dem toolkit here.