Making neighbourhoods accessible through universal design

Universal Design is a range of ideas and practices that makes places and buildings more inclusive and easily accessible for everyone, including older people as well as people with and without disabilities. The idea is to make things easy to use for everyone regardless of level of ability.

So far, it is part of the government commitments for Waterloo redevelopment that all new social housing buildings will meet the Silver level of universal design standards. The Silver level is the first level of the standard, before Gold Level and Platinum Level.

You can see what every level of universal design entails in Liveable Housing Design Guidelines from Liveable Housing Australia.

The Seven core design elements of the Silver Level can be found page 13 of the document. Basically, the Silver level allows universal access to the building, essential amenities on ground floor and reinforced walls and stairways that allow for future adaptations of the dwelling adapted to its occupants’ needs.

Inner Sydney Voice organised a Capacity Building workshop about universal design and how we can create more inclusive and accessible places.

Have a look at the video of the workshop!

For a more detailed summary of discussions that Waterloo public housing tenants, local private residents and community and government workers had on the day, please see the full debriefing document available below.

Universal Design – Debriefing document

If you would like to know more about Universal Design, you can also visit the Centre for Universal Design Australia website.