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Walls of exclusion: the role of local authorities in creating barrier-free streets

Landscape and Urban Planning

Author: Manley, S.
Type: Journal Article
Year: 1996


It is being recognised that the barriers to full participation for disabled people in community life are created by society. These barriers, which include physical and environmental barriers as well as social, must be removed to create conditions of full and equal opportunities. Any discussion on the future of the street and its essential role in community life must include consideration of ways of ensuring that the rich and diverse experiences and activities of the street are accessible to all. This paper draws on a research project carried out at the University of the West of England, Bristol, which explored the way in which local authorities in England and Wales use the land use planning system to address the problems created by physical barriers. It argues that the work carried out by an authority is more likely to be successful and directed at the real needs and wishes of the disabled community if the authority has accepted the view that access to our buildings and streets is a basic human right. Although the experiences described are UK based the importance of stressing that physical access is a rights issue is transferable to international standards. Experience of local action to implement policies to achieve good access indicates that authorities or organisations that see access as a technical problem to be overcome are unlikely to achieve truly accessible streets.

Further Details

Full Title: Landscape and Urban Planning
Pages: 137-152
Volume: 35
Issue: 2/3
Accession Number: September, 2011
Electronic Resource Number: 10.1016/0169-2046(96)00310-6
Research Notes: Electronic copy added 30/08/2013
Keywords: United Kingdom, mobility, policy compliance, disabled
Reads: 157