Designing Better Streets for People with Low Vision

Design plays a big role in giving people with low vision the confidence to use streets and public spaces.

But a new study funded by CABE has found that some features which should help people with low vision are hindering them instead.

Sight Line: designing better streets for people with low vision investigated how eight blind and partially sighted people navigate their local streets.

Local authorities use blister paving differently, even in adjacent boroughs, to demarcate the pavement edge at both controlled and uncontrolled crossings.

The study argues for national guidance to be clearer and for local authorities to coordinate across boundaries.

Author Ross Atkin, a research associate at the Helen Hamlyn Centre at the Royal College of Art, also interviewed local authority designers and researchers from across the country.

He has developed a practical new mapping technique to communicate how three different groups (residual sight users, long cane users and guide dog users) use a combination of sound, touch, and memory to get around safely.

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