Smart Cities Library™

4 Urban Planning Fails We Need to Correct

4 Urban Planning Fails We Need to Correct in 2020

When urban planners envision their work for the 21st century, many often say it’ll begin with fixing the shortcomings put in place in the 20th century. However, the question remains whether professionals can make those changes quickly enough to avoid the worst consequences of their mistakes. Here are four urban planning fails that should be near the top of the list as professionals assess what to address first.

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How Architecture Changes for the Deaf

How Architecture Changes for the Deaf

We live in a world built for people who hear. But what would our man-made world look like if it were designed for those who don’t hear? Gallaudet University in Washington, DC is a school for the Deaf and hard of hearing. And they are redesigning entire buildings based on the sensory experience of those who don’t hear. They’ve only…

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Smart Cities Could Give The Blind A New Outlook On Urban Life

Smart Cities Could Give The Blind A New Outlook On Urban Life

Traveling to work, meeting friends for a catch up or just doing some shopping are often taken for granted by people with no known disabilities. For the visually impaired, these seemingly simple things can be a serious challenge. But imagine a city equipped with technology that enables the visually impaired to recognise people, places or even bank notes, helping them…

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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

Disability as an Innovation Driver for Smart Cities

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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