Smart Cities Library™

Aging Population Needs Walkable, Bikeable Cities

Aging Population Needs Walkable, Bikeable Cities

Seniors have the most to gain from pedestrian and cycling improvements—yet they often feel threatened by changes that provide alternatives to driving. Here are ways to include seniors in active transportation planning. The first time someone accused me of being “ableist” I was shocked. I was advocating ways to make downtown more walkable, including pedestrianizing some streets. I view walkability…

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Disability as an Innovation Driver for Smart Cities

White cane user walking

A Smart City gives its citizens all the benefits of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to provide them with services adapted to their needs in real time. This technology can be found at different levels of society such as education, transportation, the environment, health or safety. The overall objective of the smart city is therefore to improve the quality of…

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The Experiences of People with Disabilities and Urban Safety

The Experiences of People with Disabilities and Urban Safety

Creating safe and secure urban spaces is a core concern for city managers, urban planners and policy workers. Safety is a slippery concept to pin down, not least because it is a subjective experience. It incorporates our perceptions of places and memories, but also norms in society about who is expected to use spaces in the city, and who is…

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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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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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