Finding ways to strengthen ideas.

A couple of years ago, I was working in expert groups about urban standards. I tried to give some valuable inputs about how our cities should be designed in order to increase the autonomy of the disabled.

When using a wheelchair, going outside to buy a sandwich or taking the subway to go to the cinema could easily be tougher than a soldier training session. And because of the difficulties encountered, we observe what I call the phenomenon of contextual-over-pathology. The living environment of a paraplegic makes him over-use some parts of his body that this over-usage causes new pathologies to appear in other parts of his body. For the wheelchair example, the user involves his upper-body not to handle objects, but his propulsion. This non-natural use of his arms and hands often results in pathologies like carpal-tunnel syndrome. One of the solutions to reduce the symptoms is to rest and not to use the wheelchair. This will result in the decrease of his autonomy.
It is easy to find examples promoting the interests of adapting our cities to simplify the lives of the disabled. But it costs money to make changes and it costs time also. Because of that, the changes are slow.

The idea here is to present the whole range of beneficial impacts if new urban standards were applied. And by doing so, it would be interesting to present a larger view to explain the fact that other populations would benefit from the new city design improvements as well. In our case: tourists and moms.

Imagine cities where it would be easy to go from the airport to our hotel without enduring a crossfit session with your luggage. Imagine cities where moms could go everywhere with their strollers, especially in places where they absolutely have to go: supermarkets, kindergartens, theaters... The same goes for the elderly.

As I said in the beginning, while working in expert groups on urban standards, I tried to give some valuable input about how our cities should be redesigned in order to increase the autonomy of the disabled. But the autonomy of the disabled, even if it was my first goal, was only one of my arguments. I focused on adding value for a larger part of the population. When it is difficult to convince people due to a very specific application, find wider uses to promote your ideas.

Leave a Reply

Your e-mail address will not be published. Required fields are marked *