You may think of Planners as being the folks standing on the other side of the counter while you are trying to get the entitlements approved for your construction project, but Planners also provide a wealth of great information that can help you. I thought I’d share one example with you on mobility that is based on the concept of Universal Design.
One of the 7 Principles of Universal Design is that of Equitable Use: “The Design is useful and marketable to people with diverse abilities.” This isn’t just about meeting ADA. It’s as much about the guy in the wheelchair as it is the mom with her stroller. Both have a tough time getting around the telephone pole that by some work of genius ended up smack dab in the center of the sidewalk.
The February, 2018 issue of Planning Magazine addresses this issue of “Applying Universal Design to How People Get Around.” The article discusses the change in focus within the transportation planning world that aspires to give people (on foot, in wheelchairs, on bicycles, scooters, or whatever kind of mobility) “equal standing or priority over automobiles”.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words; here are some great ones from that article:
Photo credits John Z Wetmore, www.pedestrians.org
We need to be thinking about these things when we are doing site planning and design – particularly on senior living campuses. We must go beyond the minimal ADA standards, and thoughtfully consider how to “simplify life for everyone by making products, communications, and the built environment more usable by as many people as possible at little or no extra cost . . . benefit[ing] people of all ages and abilities.”1
The AARP’s Public Policy Institute has compiled a report on Expanding Implementation of Universal Design and Visitability Features in the Housing Stock. It explains both concepts and provides insights into how to incorporate them.
Download our free resource: Principles for Creating Places Using Universal Design
Brad Smith Associates, Inc. is a mold-breaking exterior planning and design firm serving the aging services industry. Our approach puts people first, focusing on their unique needs while cultivating a deep sense of community. That is done by using a rational problem-solving method, infused with Imaginality™, combining the five key components of PLACE-Creation into our designs:
Planning - Applied foresight to achieve your project goals
Lifestyle - Delivering a better result for people by understanding their needs and lifestyles
Aesthetics - The aesthetics of a property speak to the "brand essence", greatly affecting marketing.
Community - a sense of meaning, identity and belonging for the people living there
Economics - informed decision-making on the front end during the design process can yield significant dividends on the back end (by reducing ongoing operations and maintenance costs).
We're landscape architects and planners by profession, and we love putting our talents to work to create value for you.
How can we help you maximize your potential in the marketplace? We'd like to learn more about how we can help you achieve great things - whether that involves planning new construction, making repairs or renovations, or completely re-positioning your product offering. Let's have a conversation soon.