DAI ED-SiG Consultation and consideration for the Scottish Government on Guidance for Inclusive Design in Town Centers and Busy Streets

DAI ED-SiG Consultation and consideration for the Scottish Government on Guidance for Inclusive Design in Town Centers and Busy Streets
Author: The DAI Admin Team
Published: Thursday, May 30th 2024

Earlier this year, the Dementia Alliance International (DAI) Environmental Design Special Interest Group (ED-SiG) gathered input from its members in response to a request for feedback from the Scottish Government about making town centers and busy streets more inclusive. Members shared their thoughts through emails and online discussions, and the Steering Committee organized and reviewed the key responses. They submitted a response in March. 

ED-SiG members identified several considerations regarding inclusive design for town centers and busy streets. These insights addressed key gaps in the current guidelines and proposed recommendations to better accommodate those living with dementia. The following list outlines the primary issues raised:

  • Lack of direct engagement of people living with  dementia.

  • Absence of explicit mention of dementia in the guidelines.

  • Need for familiarity and legibility in design.

  • Importance of distinct features for navigation.

  • Implementation of dementia-inclusive wayfinding systems.

  • Emphasis on safety, comfort, and managing environmental stressors.

In the submission, DAI ED-SiG included recommendations that would allow the Scottish Government to support people living with dementia to participate fully in their local environments. A short summary of each recommendation is as follows:

Recommendation 1: Being inclusive should mean everyone can use the busy roads or streets confidently without feeling inadequate and excluded.

Recommendation 2: The participation of people with dementia should be part of the design process. Various engagement approaches must be used to ensure everyone can participate without being limited by their disabilities or conditions. Failure to do so will make the participation feel tokenistic.

Recommendation 3: It is important that information be made available in plain language so that all those involved can make informed decisions and contribute equally.

Recommendation 4:  Efforts need to be made to include people who cannot use the environments currently and may be increasingly invisible to those engaged in the process because of this.

Recommendation 5: Enabling people to exercise their rights, as outlined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the CRPD (Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities), is crucial.

Recommendation 6: Exploring the needs of different users is vital to accommodate diverse requirements effectively. What may be a solution to some, could cause further confusion for others. 

Recommendation 7: It is important to provide sufficient width for older pedestrians who need assistance walking. This pertains to corridors, benches, walkways and more. 

Recommendation 8: Crossing times should be safe for everyone. This means longer crossing times for older individuals who may be slower than others. Clear communication regarding crossing times supports informed decisions, particularly for vulnerable pedestrians.

Recommendation 9: Any temporary road diversion or street closure should be clearly marked, as well as alternative routes to continue around them. 

Recommendation 10: There is no one size fits all approach or solution and thus, revisiting the design after it has been implemented is important for making it functional and inclusive.

In their submission to the Scottish Government, the Dementia Alliance International Environmental Design Special Interest Group (DAI ED-SiG) offers recommendations to improve inclusive design in town centers and busy streets. By empowering individuals living with dementia to fully participate in their local environments, these recommendations reflect a commitment to creating vibrant, inclusive communities for all.
You can read the full submission here.

Support Dementia Alliance International

Check out these other blog posts

Author: Author Kate Swaffer
Published: 2024-06-24 00:00:00

Dementia and Disability Rights

Author: Author Admin
Published: 2024-06-17 00:00:00

Why the renewed interest in the relationship between delirium and dementia?

Author: Author Admin
Published: 2024-06-04 00:00:00

Our Perspectives: Insights, Innovation, Inspiration | DAI Lunch Symposium

Sign up for News, Articles and Blog

Text To Speech

Click text to start reading