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Inclusive Design of Urban Spaces: Deaf and Blind Urbanism through Spatial and Multi-sensory Design


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In the design of urban environments, the relations between the physical features of space is deeply connected with the ease or limitation of movement within a space, which is why there is a broad body of technical knowledge and detailed regulation in this field. These systems of regulations make it easier for the professionals who work with the design of urban public spaces to understand and to take into consideration dimensional and functional aspects of objects and spaces aimed at persons who suffer restrictions in their movements. However, it is far more complicated to analyse how man-made environmental features can help or hinder persons who suffer from perceptual disabilities, and especially, for those who cannot see or hear. Minuscule details in the design of urban spaces can improve the lives of the users utilizing these spaces, or in some cases, it makes it harder. A successful design for urban space should be an inclusive design; designed for everyone to use and enjoy, everyone includes the elderly and kids, men and women including those with different kinds of disabilities. In most of the cases, urban designers think of disabled users as only wheelchair users, forgetting deaf, blind, people with Down syndrome and so on. This paper focuses on Deaf and Blind Urbanism and how cities can be designed to make the life of differently abled users better and to create new spaces which are more inclusive and diverse.
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