World Architecture Day 2023: Safe Spaces for All – Accessible Design Leads the Way
World Architecture Day 2023 arrives with a resounding theme – “Safe Spaces for All: Accessible Design Leads the Way.” Architects, engineers, and urban planners are stepping up to champion inclusivity and accessibility in urban development. Let’s hear from prominent voices in the field as they share their insights and perspectives on this crucial subject.
“Inclusivity isn’t an option; it’s our standard,” asserts Sneha Gurjar, Director of CEM Engineers. Cutting-edge solutions and technology are transforming industrial environments to prioritize the needs of all individuals, regardless of their abilities. From ergonomic workstations to intuitive navigation systems, the approach is revolutionary, illuminating the path to safer and more inclusive spaces. Gurjar also emphasizes the importance of inclusivity in the workforce, bridging social and digital divides.
Jayesh Ganesh, Regional Head, Bengaluru , Edifice Consultants, highlights the significance of inclusivity at the heart of city development strategies. To envision diverse, thriving cities, inclusive design elements are essential. “This includes high-contrast paving patterns and signage for the color-blind, braille signage, and wayfinding technology for the visually impaired. Inclusive urban design spans safety, mobility, technology, health, civic responsibility, and emergency preparedness,” adds Ganesh. Creating inclusive cities becomes a shared responsibility, from avoiding motorbike usage on footpaths to preserving public amenities.
Vineeta Singhania Sharma, Founder Partner & Principal Architect, Confluence, underscores architects’ role in designing spaces that work well for everyone. Architects must rethink urban planning to accommodate growing populations while considering their impact on the built environment. Innovative technologies are crucial for achieving accessibility. Sharma calls for architects and urban planners to recognize inclusivity and accessibility as fundamental aspects of urban development, aligned with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Harsh Varshneya, Principal Architect, STHAPATI, emphasizes architects’ social responsibility to create spaces that prioritize safety. Safe spaces, aesthetically pleasing and secure, empower all inhabitants. Varshneya advocates making spaces accessible to people of all ages and abilities, contributing to social consciousness. Creating safe and accessible spaces, especially in public buildings with high foot traffic, is vital for collective well-being.
In conclusion, World Architecture Day 2023 highlights the unwavering commitment of architects and designers to shape our cities with inclusivity and accessibility in mind. Their vision for safer, accessible, and inclusive urban environments offers hope for a future where everyone can thrive and enjoy the benefits of evolving urban landscapes.