Tehran seeks social sustainability through UD

A distance view of the city of Tehran showing high rise buildings and mountains in the backgroundIn spite of the number of people injured in the Iran-Iraq war, and legislation for accessibility, urban spaces in Tehran still have a long way to go. Hence this article outlining research on finding solutions for increasing access in the built environment. The research asks: What is causing inefficiency in the regulation of universal design, why is social participation by people with disabilities limited, and which factors are contributing to universal design? It seems the issues are worldwide regardless of whether the population is affected by war or not. The abstract of the article, Universal Design and Social Sustainability in the City: The Case Study of Tehran Iran, follows:

Following the proposal of Universal Design in 1974, a public society was founded in Iran in 1981, in order to aid the disabled victims of the Iran-Iraq war. Official authorities have also made legislation on this topic. During the last three decades many efforts have been made to apply this concept in public spaces. Unfortunately these have not succeeded. It means despite the existence of inherent rules and regulations and the general will to apply the principles of Universal Design in Tehran, urban spaces are still an improper environment for the independent presence and movement of people with disabilities. This problem is considered a serious threat for social sustainability in Tehran.
The main goal of this research is finding solutions for increasing social interaction and greater participation of people with disabilities in public spaces by applying Universal Design. The research is seeking to answer these questions: What is causing inefficiency in the regulation of Universal Design in Tehran? Why is social participation by people with disabilities limited in Tehran? Which factors are contributing to Universal Design in Tehran? The research is based on applied theory, field research methods and a mixed qualitative–quantitative approach. In addition, and the results include both empirical and functional solutions.
The consequences show that many of problems are rooted in cultural issues. The people must attend to disability as a public concern which can involve everybody. They must comprehend that all the members of the society, regardless of their physical condition, have the right to use public facilities independently. The second problem is related to lack of any integrated approach to applying Universal Design. This research proposes some solutions such as preparation a Universal Design master plan, an integrated approach for implementation project in all organizations, and public education for improving citizens’ knowledge about Universal Design.

The article is from the conference proceedings of: Universal Design 2016, Learning from the Past – Desiging for the Future.