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Inclusive Architecture: The Latest Architecture and News

How Can Buildings Work for Everyone? The Future of Inclusivity and Accessibility in Architecture

One of the most important challenges in architecture, when it comes to creating spaces that work for everyone, is the diversity that exists in people, their needs, and how to integrate them into a design. Disabilities are more than a condition; they are a way of living according to human diversity that requires architectural solutions of equivalent multiplicity.

According to data from the World Bank, it is estimated that 1 billion people –equivalent to 15% of the world's population– live with some type of disability. In the future, this percentage could increase considerably, given the global trend of aging populations. To face this growing challenge, architecture will have to adapt quickly, due to the role that built environments have in constituting a barrier or a path for the inclusion of people with different types of disabilities, seniors, as well as diverse groups who make up the human plurality.

AIA Awards 2024 Gold Medal to Sustainability Advocates David Lake and Ted Flato of Lake|Flato Architects

The American Institute of Architects has announced David Lake and Ted Flato, the founders of Texas-based firm Lake|Flato Architects, as the winners of the 2024 AIA Gold Medal. The pair was selected by the jury for their ability to make "sustainability exciting in a way few other architects have accomplished." Founded in San Antonia in 1984, their office set out to make environmentally conscientious design both accessible and exciting, by finding ways to strengthen he bond between humans and nature.

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The Curb Cut Effect: How Accessible Architecture is Benefiting Everybody

The fabric of our cities is shaped by millions of small decisions and adaptations, many of which have become integral to our experience. Nowadays taken for granted, some of these elements were revolutionary at the time of their implementation. One such element is the curb cut, the small ramp grading down the sidewalk to connect it to the adjoining street, allowing wheelchair users and people with motor disabilities to easily move onto and off the sidewalk. This seemingly small adaptation has proven to be unexpectedly useful for a wider range of people, including parents with strollers, cyclists, delivery workers, etc. Consequently, it lends its name to a wider phenomenon, the “curb cut effect”, where accommodations and improvements made for a minority end up benefiting a much larger population in expected and unexpected ways.

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AWBQ Releases the “Architecture + Homelessness” Catalog to Promote Inclusive Practices in Cities

Architecture Without Borders Quebec (AWBQ) has made public the catalog of practices “Architecture + Homelessness: Inclusive Practices for a Supportive City.” The publication, publicly available in both English and French, is created to encourage architecture and design practices that have the potential to contribute to the well-being of people experiencing homelessness. The catalog is part of an ongoing research project initiated by AWBQ and supported by the Government of Quebec and the City of Montreal.

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Design for Inclusivity at the UIA World Congress of Architects 2023

The UIA World Congress of Architects 2023 is an invitation for architects from around the world to meet in Copenhagen July 2 – 6 to explore and communicate how architecture influences all 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). For more than two years, the Science Track and its international Scientific Committee have been analyzing the various ways in which architecture responds to the SDGs. The work has resulted in the formulation of six science panels: design for Climate Adaptation, design for Rethinking Resources, design for Resilient Communities, design for Health, design for Inclusivity, and design for Partnerships for Change. An international call for papers was sent out in 2022 and 296 of more than 750 submissions from 77 countries have been invited to present at the UIA World Congress of Architects 2023 in Copenhagen. ArchDaily is collaborating with the UIA to share articles pertaining to the six themes to prepare for the opening of the Congress.

In this fifth feature, we met with co-chairs of design for Inclusivity architect Magda Mostafa, Professor of Design, Department of Architecture, the American University in Cairo and architect Ruth Baumeister, Associate Professor of Theory and History, Aarhus School of Architecture.

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Inclusivity and the Character of a City: An Interview with Saimir Kristo

In January 2023, Copenhagen Architecture Festival carried out a film and architecture workshop in collaboration with Barleti University and Tirana Architecture Triennale, exploring inclusivity in Albania’s capital city. In this interview, professor Saimir Kristo shares his thoughts about his booming city and the potential of film to narrate its true character.

Perkins & Will Begins Construction on Mass Timber Gateway to University of British Columbia Campus

Perkins & Will has just begun construction on the Gateway Project for the University of British Columbia. The project will serve as the primary entrance point to the campus, as well as the new hub for the Nursing, Kinesiology, Language Science, and the university's health clinics. This project is inspired by the surrounding landscape and is informed by the Musqueam people, who have been occupying these territories for generations.

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New Orleans’ Equity-Driven Reforestation Plan

New Orleans experiences the worst urban heat island effect in the country, with temperatures nearly 9 F° higher than nearby natural areas. The city also lost more than 200,000 trees from Hurricane Katrina, dropping its overall tree canopy to just 18.5 percent.

The non-profit organization Sustaining Our Urban Landscape (SOUL) partnered with landscape architects at Spackman Mossop Michaels (SMM) to create a highly accessible, equity-focused reforestation plan for the city that provides a roadmap for achieving a tree canopy of 24 percent by 2040. But more importantly, the plan also seeks to equalize the canopy, so at least 10 percent of all 72 neighborhoods are covered in trees. Currently, more than half of neighborhoods are under the 10 percent goal.

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Marvel Architects Reveals Design for The Bronx Museum of Art's Renovation

New York-based firm Marvel revealed schematic designs for The Bronx Museum's new multi-story entrance and lobby, as part of the museum's revamp for its 50th anniversary. With a budget of USD $26 million and slated for completion in 2025, the renovation will relocate the access on the Grand Concourse Street, one of the most iconic The Bronx boulevards, and focus on the cohesion of the multiple sections for a fully accessible route through all of the galleries. Coinciding with this announcement, the Museum reinvented its brand identity and website for the first time in over two decades to reflect its ethos as a vital space at the intersection of art and social justice in New York City.

San Marino Declaration for Sustainable and Inclusive Architecture Receives Signatures of Norman Foster and Stefano Boeri

While the United Nations has been continuously urging architects, engineers, and city shapers to put the 2030 agenda and the SDGs into action, and the IPCC report revealed intensifying climate change, sparking widespread discussion over insufficient action, the 83rd ongoing session of The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe - UNECE Committee on Urban Development, Housing and Land Management taking place in San Marino, has just issued a special declaration on “how to build better, safer, more inclusive, and resilient" cities, ahead of COP27. This set of “Principles for Sustainable and Inclusive Urban Design and Architecture”, or the San Marino declaration has gathered the signatures of Norman Foster and Stefano Boeri.

How to Develop More Equitable Cities? ICLEI Launches a Guidebook for Urban Practitioners

ICLEI Circulars has launched a new practical Equitable Transitions Guidebook to help cities make sure that their urban development projects are equitable for all groups of citizens. The guidebook is based on multiple case studies from cities worldwide under the Urban Transitions Alliance project. The guide’s purpose is to provide insights, recommendations, and tools for city practitioners to understand better and unpack what social equity means at the local level. The publication is free to download.

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When It Comes to Design for the Disabled, Let the Science Lead the Process

This article was originally published on Common Edge

Steven J. Orfield's firm, Orfield Laboratories (OL), has spent 50 years in architectural design, research, and testing, dedicated to the premise that what matters in design is the end user, because design in the absence of user comfort, preference, and satisfaction is a failure. In this process, the firm has developed building performance standards for most commercial building types, and has now added to those standards the requirements for half of the world: people who are perceptually and cognitively disabled (PCD). The expense in doing this has been significant, but it has been one of the most important quests in Orfield's life.

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Planners Must Now “Anticipate the Unanticipated”

“The planning practices of the past are inadequate for today’s challenges,” said David Rouse, ASLA, a landscape architect and planner, at the American Planning Association‘s National Planning Conference in San Diego. Rapid technological change, socio-economic inequities, natural resource depletion, and climate change are forcing planning and design professionals to adapt. “How can the practice of planning evolve to be more sustainable and equitable?”

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