Thursday, 24 July 2014

'Inclusive Design' in Sidmouth...

Sidmouth has a Tesco's at the top of its High Street:
Futures Forum: Tesco's in East Devon

It is located at a point where the road is narrow and shared by two lanes of traffic entering the town - and where the pavement is narrow and shared by pedestrians going in and out of the supermarket and up and down the High Street.

There have been several reports and letters in the Herald over the years expressing fears over this 'danger spot':
Kids' lives are put in danger - News - Sidmouth Herald
Parking is a problem - we need traffic wardens - Letters - Sidmouth Herald
Sidmouth High Street car crash - News - Sidmouth Herald
Road danger - Letters - Sidmouth Herald
Close encounter - Letters - Sidmouth Herald
Much gratitude - Letters - Sidmouth Herald

Perhaps the town needs some 'inclusive design':

What is inclusive design?

Inclusive design aims to remove the barriers that create undue effort and separation. It enables everyone to participate confidently and independently in everyday activities.
An inclusive society is one that leaves no one behind.
An inclusively designed built environment means planning, designing, building and managing places that work better for everybody – whether that place is a school, office, park, street, care home, bus route or train station.
Inclusive environments are:
  • Welcoming to everyone
  • Responsive to people’s needs
  • Intuitive to use
  • Flexible
  • Offer choice when a single design solution cannot meet all user needs
  • Convenient so they can be used without undue effort or special separation and maximise independence
An inclusive approach to planning, design and management is an opportunity to use creativity and lateral thinking to make places that reflect the diversity of people who want to use them. Crucial to this is consultation with user groups, putting people who represent a diversity of age, ability, gender and community at the heart of the design process.
Inclusive design is the responsibility of everyone who works in the built environment: planners, those who commission new buildings and places, access consultants, designers, architects, engineers, surveyors, property owners and facilities managers.
The way places are planned, designed and managed has an impact on everyone’s lives. Designing and managing the built environment inclusively is essential if we are to create a fair society and meet current and future challenges.

An ageing population

The UK’s population is getting older. Housing provision needs to change to meet this rapidly growing demand. The HAPPI report identified wider benefits from developing good quality housing for older people including a reduction in health and social care costs, as well as freeing up of much-needed family housing.

Stronger communities

The quality of the built environment has a significant role to play in tackling social disadvantage. Nine out of 10 people use and value parks and green spaces, but minority groups tend to have less local green space and it is of poorer quality.   

Economic growth

An estimated £5.3bn in lost earnings is due to people who have dropped out of the workforce to take on caring responsibilities for older or disabled friends and family. Lifetime Homes  is a policy tool that helps planners and other built environment professionals understand the benefits of helping maintain independance in their own homes.

Buying power

According to Disability Rights UK, 83% of disabled people had 'walked away' from making a purchase, unable or unwilling to do so.  The most important factor was inaccessible premises. Other important factors that discouraged disabled consumers from spending were poorly designed products and staff who were not disability confident, were rude or appeared prejudiced.


The Equality ActNational Planning Policy Framework and guidance on building regulations all require new and existing buildings and spaces to provide access for all.

About this hub

While progress is being made, inclusive design in the built environment is still not common practice. Often the bare minimum to meet standards and regulations is all that is asked for and delivered.
Design Council is keen to work with others to address this problem in the built environment and in the wider design world. Building on previous Cabe work we hope this resource hub will be helpful for built environment professionals. It covers buildings and outdoor spaces, in all phases of development including planning, design and construction, right through to the management of those buildings and places. It is a collection of resources and we do not promote the use of one over the other.
We want to continue to build this resource over time. We would like to hear from you if you have suggestions for further resources to be included, from guides to case studies, from the UK and internationally. Our aspiration is that this becomes the central place for people to learn and be inspired about inclusive design.

Inclusive Design hub for the built environment | Design Council

It's quite a big idea in planning circles:
Inclusive Design · Projects & Publications · Town and Country Planning Association

And several local authorities have taken the idea on board:
Inclusive Design - Leicester City Council
Inclusive Design in Islington - Islington Council

The District Council has some policy guidelines in place:

> Prominence is given in its 'strategic design guidance' for Cranbrook: 

> However, it is only mentioned once in its draft Local Plan, without any specific proposals:

Inclusive design: Designing the built environment, including buildings and their surrounding spaces, to ensure that they can be accessed and used by everyone

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