Global Benchmarking of Accessible and Inclusive Cities
Deakin University, AU
Dr Claire Henderson-Wilson: is a Senior Lecturer in health sciences / socio-ecological health within the School of Health & Social Development, Deakin University, Australia and co-leads the Health, Nature, Sustainability Research Group. Her research involves investigating the health and wellbeing benefits of contact with nature, links between housing and health, the role of animals in enhancing people’s health and wellbeing and links between climate change and health.
Dr Fiona Andrews: is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Health & Social Development at Deakin University and is a director of the HOME Research hub - an interdisciplinary group of 30 researchers which works with communities to co-design solutions to complex problems of affordable housing, homelessness, and social inclusion. Her research involves participatory photo-narrative research with families exploring notions of housing, neighbourhoods, health and social inclusion.
Professor Erin Wilson: is the Uniting Kildonan Chair in Community Services Innovation at the Centre for Social Impact, Swinburne University. She has worked extensively in the field of participatory social change and disability and inclusion and, prior to this, Indigenous community management and development. Her work has focused on the design of inclusive and participatory methods that enable a full diversity of participation, including children and adults with diverse disabilities encompassing research in Australia, Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu. Her current interests include outcomes measurement and capacity building for social inclusion.
Professor Richard Tucker: has published approaching 100 outputs on sustainable and universal design, urban design, accessibility and inclusivity in built environment design. He is a director of the HOME Research hub - an interdisciplinary group of 30 researchers which works with communities to co-design solutions to complex problems of affordable housing, homelessness, and social inclusion. His work is founded on the efficacy of cross-disciplinary teamwork. He has formed research teams with colleagues from seven academic institutions and a dozen industry partners. His research is focused on transdisciplinary approaches at the intersection of sustainable design, planning, health, and housing.
Globally, many built environments fail to meet the accessibility needs of people with disability. This is despite people with disability agitating for built environment accessibility improvement for many decades. This paper critically reviews global literature to determine what constitutes an accessible and inclusive city and to discover global benchmarks of accessible and inclusive cities. We identified five (composite) domains that an accessible and inclusive city would include: 1.Connectivity (spatial & digital); 2.Economic participation, employment and education; 3.Housing; 4.Community and social infrastructure; and 5. Processes of engagement and inclusion. We also identified a number of global accessible and inclusive city exemplars, including Breda, the Netherlands and Gdynia, Poland. From the global review of exemplars and definitions, domains and indicators, a number of areas of practical action were identified that require multi-entity, multisector collaborations with influential partners addressing all prioritised domains. These actions included: the need to include those with lived experience of disability in the planning and design of environments and services; the need to work across the linked domains of the built form, services, attitudes and economic participation; and the need to revise construction, design, planning and architectural education to foreground the needs and requirements of those with disability.