Planning for Eyes AND Ears

An urban planner in Denver is conducting research into navigating the city without sight - a daily reality for those who are blind or visually impaired.

Her research involves asking visually impaired pedestrians to map their neighbourhood as they experience it.  No surprises here - it can be tough to get around.

She gives the example of how ill placed sign posts and landscaping can be hazardous.
"This is a great example of the disconnection between urban planners (who are most likely sighted) and those who actually use the planned spaces"
It's also pointed out that improving pedestrian routes for the visually impaired also benefits the broader community.
"Chances are, if the blind man walking to work avoids the area, so does the woman in the wheel chair and the old guy that walks with a cane."
I thought this was interesting, because I don't think enough about what it might be like for those with disabilities to get around our cities, and I agree that if the streets are suitable for the most vulnerable in the community it means that everyone else in the community is catered for too.

Read more here, or catch a video that shows one man's experience here.


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