UD at the Zoo: A case study

Arched entrance to Brookfield Zoo.The principles of universal design were used in Chicago’s Brookfield Zoo 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.

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.

The picture is of the South Gate entrance. When the parking lot was resurfaced, it was made level and even with the kerb to provide a level entrance for all visitors.