Edited transcript from live captioning of Kay Saville-Smith’s keynote presentation at the Australian Universal Design Conference 2014. Titled: Making universal design a reality – confronting affordability.
Synopsis: The Christchurch earthquakes which flattened much of the city provided an opportunity to start from scratch and implement some of the good design ideas, including universal design, that have been around for some time. However, this has not happened and there are many reasons for this, not least of which is the stance of the insurance industry.
The issue of affordability is a complex one. It is a market driven issue where the actual cost of the building is not the main issue. Universal design and affordability can co-exist. However, there are many attitudinal barriers and well-worn arguments touted in the industry that say it cannot be done.