Universal Design at the Zoo: A case study

Arched entrance to Brookfield Zoo. It was the subject of a UD at the Zoo case study.Chicago’s Brookfield Zoo applied the principles of universal design during upgrade and extension works. Changes to the entrance, maps and information, transportation within the park, toilets, benches, tables, and exhibit design and enhancement are explained in a case study. In addition, trained staff are on hand to provide additional help to visitors where needed. Mark Trieglaff explains universal design at the Zoo in his case study.

The improvements are matched to one or more of the seven principles of universal design. The conference paper concludes: “By incorporating the Principles of Universal Design all visitors are offered equal experiences as they interact with the animal, exhibits and each other. Without even realizing barriers have been removed, everyone, regardless of their abilities, has a more enjoyable and inclusive experience.”

The title of the paper is, Universal Design in a Zoological Setting, and is free to download as PDF. It also serves as an example for urban design and place planning.

Abstract. Universal Design in planning for exhibiting animal collections for the
public has been a part of the culture of one particular zoo in the US. This paper
looks at the steps in designing a zoological park that is universally accessible to all visitors. 

The picture is of the South Gate entrance. The parking lot was made level with the kerb to provide a level entrance for all visitors during the upgrade.