Smart Cities Library™

How Can Melbourne Be Made More Accessible?

How Can Melbourne Be Made More Accessible?

How does Melbourne rate compared to other cities, and whose responsibility is it to bring it up to scratch when it comes to making it livable for everyone? Ever heard of the city of Breda in southern Netherlands? The tiny municipality of just over 180,000 people is one of the most accessible places in the world, winning the 2019 Access…

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City Planners Must Practice Everyone-Based Design

City Planners Must Practice Everyone-Based Design

I was once a live-in aide to a woman with multiple sclerosis named Marin. She was a 54-year-old Jewish hippie with a purple streak through her curly cloud of hair. She dyed the right ear of Jake, her white-furred poodle, to match. This was a conversation piece. Some people shied away from talking to her when she motored through town…

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Accessible and Inclusive Design Is Good for Business

A jubilant business woman at work, sitting in her wheelchair, smiling, and raising her hands and arms into the air

The European Commission estimates that 80 million EU citizens live with a disability, with this figure expected to increase to 120 million by 2020 due to the region’s ageing population. In 2010, when it accepted the UN’s Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the EU committed to ensuring the social and occupational integration of those living with disabilities.…

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‘People Aren’t Disabled, Their City Is’: Inside Europe’s Most Accessible City

‘People Aren’t Disabled, Their City Is’: Inside Europe’s Most Accessible City

When I arrived at Breda station last month to find out why this Dutch city was recently named the winner of the 2019 Access City award, I did something I have not done while travelling in a long time. Instead of taking a taxi, I independently pushed the two kilometres to the hotel, to see whether lack of access for…

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Research Reveals Inclusive Design Can Expand Customer Reach Fourfold

World-first report Research reveals inclusive design can expand customer reach fourfold

World-first report: Research reveals inclusive design can expand customer reach fourfold New research launched today by the Centre for Inclusive Design in partnership with Adobe and Microsoft has revealed that products and services designed with the needs of people experiencing poverty, disability or the effects of aging in mind can reach four times the number of intended consumers and impact…

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Don Norman On How Design Fails Older Consumers

Don Norman On How Design Fails Older Consumers

More people than ever are living long, healthy lives. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the average life expectancy is 78.6 years for men and 81.1 for women. More relevant, however, is that as people grow older, their total life expectancy increases. So for those who are now 65, the average life expectancy is 83 for…

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“Access” a Short Film About Accessibility

Announcing “Access,” a Short Film About Accessibility

Access, is Chris Higgin’s short documentary about accessibility. It follows Cory Joseph through a typical day, showing how he uses his smartphone, Braille display, tactile watch, and guide dog (named Vine) to navigate the world. I hope you watch it, and I hope it inspires you to make your work more accessible to more people….

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People With Disabilities Use Lived Expertise To Make Public Spaces Better

People With Disabilities Use Lived Expertise To Make Public Spaces Better

BOSTON – The Institute for Human-Centered Design’s West End office has no stairs – only ramps. Round white panels hanging from the ceiling absorb sound to reduce echo and make communication easier. “We have built-in bidets in our toilets. We have automatic faucets and lights,” says Valerie Fletcher, the Institute’s executive director. “We learn all the time, though, about how…

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Reinventing Obsolete Urban Spaces As Smart Cities Of The Future: Key Steps To Succes

Screenshot_2018-08-30 Reinventing obsolete urban spaces as smart cities of the future key steps to success

A renewal of public spaces is underway and underpinning this is new technology. Throughout history, public spaces have enjoyed many different roles in social, political and economic life, changing to suit the needs of the time. We know the ancient Greek agora and Roman Forum as the primary political centres of the city and the spatial cradle of democracy. In…

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Here Are The Ways AI Is Helping To Improve Accessibility

Here Are The Ways AI Is Helping To Improve Accessibility

Today marks the seventh Global Accessibility Awareness Day, a celebration of inclusion and digital access for people with disabilities. Microsoft took the opportunity to unveil the Xbox Adaptive Controller, a gaming controller designed to accommodate a range of special needs, and Apple announced that its Everyone Can Code curricula for the Swift programming language will come to schools with vision- and hearing-impaired students.…

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What You’re Getting Wrong About Inclusive Design

What You’re Getting Wrong About Inclusive Design

Inclusivity. It’s one of the biggest buzzwords inside corporations right now. But the person who brought the practice of inclusive design to Microsoft–Kat Holmes–isn’t so sure that companies really get the idea yet. Holmes has since founded an independent design practice focused on inclusive product developing, become a judge for our 2018 Innovation by Design Awards, and penned the upcoming book Mismatch. I…

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When Disability Is A Design Opportunity

When Disability Is A Design Opportunity

.entry-header The Cooper Hewitt museum in New York City is currently running a fascinating exhibition entitled Access+Ability. The exhibit features new and innovative products that help people with disabilities experience their world more effectively through design. Some of the products are in the marketplace today, while others are in the prototype stage.   All are inspiring in their use of…

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Why We Need Universal Design

Screenshot-2018-4-13 Why We Need Universal Design Smart Cities Library™

Michael is a deaf and native American Sign Language speaker working as a creative designer for Amazon. Throughout his career, Michael’s visual/conceptual way of thinking and problem solving have served him both as an asset and a challenge. He finds solutions around his disability through Universal Design. Michael Allen Nesmith, a Chicago native, was born into a deaf-culture family using…

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Universal Design Policy For an Inclusive Environment

Screenshot-2018-4-13 Policy – Built Environment – Centre for Universal Design Australia

Hobsons Bay UD Policy Statement Hobsons Bay City Council is situated south-west of Melbourne with a significant stretch of coastal area. As with many local councils in Victoria they are keen to embrace the principles of universal design in their planning policies. As part of their access and inclusion strategy they plan to implement UD principles in new buildings, buildings…

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Is Inclusive Design Achievable?

Screenshot-2018-4-5 Is Inclusive Design Achievable

In the spirit of the “special relationship” between the U.S. and the U.K., I invited our friend and colleague Jane Duncan to take over this spot this month. She is president of the 40,000-member Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) and director of Jane Duncan Architects + Interiors, an award-winning practice in Buckinghamshire, England. Jane ran for office on pledges…

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Universal Design’s Positive Return on Investment and Social Inclusion

Universal Design’s Positive Return on Investment and Social Impact: the Mary Free Bed YMCA Living Laboratory and Study | Global Universal Design Commission

Opened in 2015, the Mary Free Bed YMCA in Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA, is a state-of-the-art fitness facility designed using the principles of Universal Design (UD). Its design furthers accessibility and usability for all, regardless of user ability, age, and level of understanding (Blanck 2014). Constructed under the leadership of architecture and engineering firm Progressive AE, the building’s design includes…

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Accessible Mobility for All | Smart Cities Listen-Up

Accessible Mobility for All: Development Cooperation For Accessible Public Transportation

Accessible mobility—public transportation that can be used by anyone—is a critical component of future urban development. The New Urban Agenda calls for a significant increase in accessible public transportation, and accessible mobility is part of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Worldwide, more than one billion people live with a disability, 80 per cent of whom…

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Question: Who Benefits From Accessible Infrastructure? Answer: Everyone

Question: Who Benefits From Accessible Infrastructure? Answer: Everyone

Seniors, strollers, suitcases — it’s not just disabled people who use accessible infrastructure. Policy-makers need to reframe and broaden the conversation.  It’s been a long time coming, but the federal government is expected to unveil national accessibility laws this spring. Similar legislation in other jurisdictions, such as the Americans with Disabilities Act, was passed back in 1990. The most visible…

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What Do Accessibility and Universal Design Have To Do With Open Data and Smart Cities?

What Do Accessibility and Universal Design Have To Do With Open Data and Smart Cities?

Accessibility Series Part 1: Universal Design Matters in Open Data /.article__meta Open Data, Accessibility and Universal Design and interrelated concepts that tie into a general culture of inclusiveness and “openness.” We know what Open Data is, that’s probably what brought you here. But what do accessibility and universal design have to do with Open Data? This post will guide you…

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Why Companies Must Invest In Accessible IoT and Universal Design

Screenshot-2018-4-4 Why Companies Must Engage Accessible IoT and Universal Design Smart Cities Library™

Innovating for People With Disabilities Why companies should invest in universal design. Sensor technology, automation, artificial intelligence and the evolution of natural-language processing have made our personal electronic devices more intuitive and functional than ever. In recent years, these technologies have converged to make up the Internet of Things (IoT)—that is, a movement to make everyday items “smart” by embedding…

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