Inclusive Design of Open Spaces for Visually Impaired Persons: A Comparative Study of Beijing and Hong Kong
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Over the past few years, researchers, designers and policymakers have made tremendous efforts to move towards a barrier-free society for all by enhancing the accessibility of public space. Barrier-free legislation and design guidelines for built environments have been developed in many cities. However, compared with design for individuals with mobility impairments, design for visually impaired persons (VIPs) is seldom discussed, especially with regards to open and green spaces. Based on a comparative study of Hong Kong and Beijing, this study finds that the implementation and management of public design and policy must work together to ensure effective universal design principles for open spaces. This study discusses how design can be improved to meet the needs of VIPs. Finally, the study provides some directions for researchers, planners and policymakers seeking to enhance the contribution of built environments to healthy living.
KeywordsInclusive design Public design Visually impaired
The authors would like to acknowledge the Hong Kong Research Grants Council’s Humanities and Social Sciences Prestigious Fellowship Scheme (RGC 35000316) for the data collection and the preparation of the paper. The authors would also like to thank The Hong Kong Polytechnic University’s Central Research Grant and Eric C. Yim Endowed Professorship in Inclusive Design for this study. The authors thank the Architecture and Building Research Institute, China Association for the Blind, China Disabled Persons’ Federation, Hong Kong Blind Union; Taiwan Foundation for the Blind and The Hong Kong Society for the Blind for providing a lot of useful information.
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