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Universal design of public open spaces

Author(s): Petra Krajner

Journal: Urbani Izziv
ISSN 0353-6483

Volume: 19;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 86;
Date: 2008;
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Keywords: design for all | universal designing | landscape design | open space

Urban open spaces are public places that must assure access for all users. They should be designed for equal use despite disabilities and special recreational needs. Their design must be functional and must meet user’s special requirements, either everyday functional or special (recreational) needs. It is not just about overcoming architectural obstacles by building ramps of suitable slope and size; it is about inclusive, universal landscape design of urban space made for all citizens. For this matter, different ways of public use for each group of users is defined, functional criteria are determined, and examples of good and bad design are assembled to present the differences between technically accomplished ramps, and slope paths that include quality landscape inclusive design. To prove the unsuitability of public open spaces in Ljubljana, various analyses were made, including the measurement of steepness, lengths and wideness of certain urban elements. As an application of results, the universal designing principles are summarized in new proposal for entrance into Tivoli Park.
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