Enjoyment of our outdoor spaces, whether in a country park or city centre, is increasingly recognised as an important contributor to well-being. DBA has evaluated, and influenced many significant landscape and urban design projects, ranging from Windsor Great Park to the Wildflower ‘Flourish’ Centre in Liverpool. Early in the process we prepare an access audit of existing spaces and observe how they are used. These systematic studies help establish concerns and place them in order of priority while at the same time highlighting opportunities for improvement. With larger projects we advise the client and architect to concentrate efforts in the areas of maximum use or popularity as a first priority for expenditure.
We prefer to provide access guidance at the earliest stage of a development project. This reduces risk for the client and assists the designers in achieving the brief, working with rather than compromising the design intent. At all stages this guidance assists in ensuring elegant solutions that unobtrusively incorporate best practice access principles into landscape design and management.
Enjoyment of the public realm, whether in small towns or large cities, is an important element of urban life. In recent years there has been increased investment in the public realm, in recognition of its contribution to a sense of well being and its importance in attracting visitors from both the UK and abroad.
Hand in hand with this investment has been a growing appreciation of the importance of Inclusive Design, to benefit all, whether people with disabilities, parents with buggies or tourists with suitcases. This shift of priorities, away from vehicles and instead to pedestrians, has demanded fresh thinking all round. DBA has contributed to these fresh ideas and as a result was invited to write the Inclusive Urban Design Guide which was published by The British Standards Institute in 2013.
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