Accessibility and Inclusion for Pedestrians with Disabilities: Law, Policy, Practice and Politics
Navigating town or city streets is often made particularly difficult or dangerous for pedestrians with disabilities (including users of wheelchairs and other motorised assistance devices) by social, design, policy, legal or regulatory factors. Law can sometimes be part of the problem, as famously argued by Jacobus tenBroek in his 1966 article on ‘the right to live in the world’. Law and policy, however, are also a vital part of the solution. At the international level, this point has been highlighted in recent years by developments such as the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the Sustainable Development Goals and the UN Habitat Agenda. Nevertheless, meaningful change on the ground often proves elusive.
This topic issue will bring together a collection of articles which explore and critically evaluate the role and effectiveness of, and the need for, law, policy and regulation to enhance the inclusiveness of urban streetscapes for persons with disabilities around the globe. It aims to reflect on the effectiveness of law and policy (at international, regional, national or local levels) in preventing and challenging the exclusion and disadvantage experienced by pedestrians with disabilities and to explore factors (including political profile and activist strategies) which operate as blockages or facilitators of success. Papers will critically reflect on established and emerging types of disabling barriers affecting pedestrians and on the need for, or effectiveness of, regulatory or other state responses or approaches. The nature of barriers and solutions will vary across boundaries of geography and legal systems. We are keen that the Topic reflect the richness of this diversity as well as the potential significance of global and regional initiatives to promote change.
We invite articles addressing areas including (but not limited to):
- Pedestrian rights and their relationship with the rights of persons with disabilities and/or older people and allied movements;
- The regulation of accessibility, inclusive design and road user behaviour in the context of pedestrian environments and streetscapes;
- Relevant international instruments and initiatives (such as the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the Sustainable Development Goals and the New Urban Agenda);
- Relevant regional instruments/initiatives—e.g., within the EU;
- Challenges and/or successes in how key aspects of national/local law (e.g., equality, constitutional, tort, criminal, environmental or traffic law) operate to prevent and/or eliminate disabling barriers for pedestrians;
- New or emerging modes of transport or urban design which are creating risks or barriers for disabled people who wish to access and use town or city streets and whether/how law/regulation is, or should be, responding;
- Empirical evidence on experiences of exclusion faced by pedestrians with disabilities and the implications of this for political engagement, urban planning and/or regulatory reform.
We look forward to receiving your contributions.
Dr. Maria Orchard
Prof. Dr. Anna Lawson
Dr. Victor Santiago Pineda
Dr. Jim Walker
- urban design
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