Accessibility of urban spaces for visually impaired pedestrians

Norgate, SH ORCID: 2012, 'Accessibility of urban spaces for visually impaired pedestrians' , Municipal Engineer, 165 (4) , pp. 231-237.

PDF (Accessibility of urban spaces for visually impaired pedestrians) - Published Version
Download (181kB) | Preview


An ageing demographic together with the predicted increase in visual impairment of older people calls for a renewed consideration of the accessibility and social inclusivity of urban spaces. This paper synthesises the evidence on this topic and highlights areas for future development relating to the accessibility of urban areas for older, blind and partially sighted pedestrians in the light of recommendations and statements by the World Health Organisation’s ‘Age friendly’ cities initiative, Guide Dogs UK and the Department of Transport’s shared spaces local transport note.

Item Type: Article
Themes: Built and Human Environment
Health and Wellbeing
Schools: Schools > School of Health Sciences
Schools > School of Health and Society > Centre for Applied Research in Health, Welfare and Policy
Journal or Publication Title: Municipal Engineer
Publisher: Institution of Civil Engineers
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 0965-0903
Related URLs:
Funders: Non funded research
Depositing User: SH Norgate
Date Deposited: 05 Apr 2013 12:03
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2022 14:50
References: Access Economics (2009) Future Sight Loss UK (1): The Economic Impact of Partial Sight and Blindness in the UK Adult Population. Access Economics Pty Ltd., London, UK, report for RNIB. Alliance for Aging Research (1999) Independence for Older Americans: An Investment for our Nation’s Future. Alliance for Aging Research, Washington D.C., USA. Carroll J and Bentzen BL (1999) American Council of the Blind survey of intersection accessibility. The Braille Forum 38(7): 11–15. DfT (Department for Transport) (2007) Guidance on the Use of Tactile Paving Surfaces. DfT, London, UK. See http:// paving-surfaces/ (accessed 28/09/2012). DfT (2011) Local Transport Note 1/11 – Shared Space. DfT, London, UK. Douglas G, Pavey S, Corcoran C and Clements B (2011) Evaluating the use of the ICF as a framework for interviewing people with a visual impairment about their mobility and travel. The British Journal of Visual Impairment 30(1): 6–21. See 0264619611428932 (accessed 05/11/2012). Equality Act 2010 (2010) Elizabeth II. Chapter 15. The Stationery Office, London, UK. Gallagher BAM, Hart PM, O’Brien C, Stevenson MR and Jackson AJ Municipal Engineer Volume 165 Issue ME4 Accessibility of urban spaces for visually impaired pedestrians Norgate 236 (2011) Mobility and access to transport issues as experienced by people with vision impairment living in urban and rural Ireland. Disability and Rehabilitation 33(12): 979–988. See (accessed 05/11/2012). Guide Dogs UK (2012) Streets Ahead. Guide Dogs for the Blind Association, Reading, UK, campaign information. See (accessed 15/03/2012). Hamilton-Baillie B (2008) Towards shared space. Urban Design International 13(2): 130–138. Jenness JW and Singer J (2008) Visibility and conspicuity of detectable warnings for pedestrians with visual impairments. Transportation Research Record 2073: 104–113. See http:// (accessed 05/11/2012). Johnson V and Petrie H (1998) Travelling safely: the problems and concerns of blind pedestrians. The British Journal of Visual Impairment 16(1): 27–31. Kaparias I, Bell MGH, Miri A, Chan C and Mount B (2012) Analysing the perceptions of pedestrians and drivers to shared space. Transportation Research Part F 15: 297–310. Legood R, Scuffham P and Cryer C (2002) Are we blind to injuries in the visually impaired? A review of the literature. Injury Prevention 8(2): 155–160. Marin-Lamellet C and Aymond P (2008) Combining verbal information and a tactile guidance surface: the most efficient way to guide people with visual impairment in transport stations. The British Journal of Visual Impairment 26(1): 63–81. See 0264619607083832 (accessed 05/11/2012). MVA Consultancy (2009) Stage 1: Appraisal of Shared Space. DfT, London, UK. MVA Consultancy (2011a) Shared Space: Operational Assessment. DfT, London, UK. MVA Consultancy (2011b) Shared Space: Qualitative Research. DfT, London, UK. Naumann RB, Dellinger AM, Haileyesus T and Ryan GW (2011) Older adult pedestrian injuries in the United States: causes and contributing circumstances. International Journal of Injury Control and Safety Promotion 18(1): 65–73. See (accessed 05/11/2012). Plouffe L and Kalache A (2010) Towards global age-friendly cities: determining urban features that promote active aging. Journal of Urban Health: Bulletin of the New York Academy of Medicine 87(5): 733–739. See 10.1007/s11524-010-9466-0 (accessed 05/11/2012). Scott AC, Barlow JM, Guth DA et al. (2011) Nonvisual cues for aligning to cross streets. Journal of Visual Impairment and Blindness October–November: 648–661. Stahl A, Newman E, Dahlin-Ivanoff S, Almen M and Iwarsson S (2010) Detection of warning surfaces in pedestrian environments: The importance for blind people of kerbs, depth, and structure of tactile surfaces. Disability and Rehabilitation 32(6): 469–482. See 3109/09638280903171543 (accessed 05/11/2012). Strickfaden M and Devlieger P (2011) The Brussels Metro: Accessibility through collaboration. Journal of Visual Impairment and Blindness October–November: 638–647. Thies SB, Kenney LPJ, Howard D et al. (2011) Biomechanics for inclusive urban design: Effects of tactile paving on older adults’ gait when crossing the street. Journal of Biomechanics 44(8): 1599–1604. See 1016/j.jbiomech.2010.12.016 (accessed 05/11/2012). Thomas C (2008) Discussion: Shared space-safe space? Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers – Municipal Engineeer 161(1): 59–60. See muen.2008.161.1.59 (accessed 05/11/2012). Thomas C (2011) Briefing: Minimum effective kerb height for blind and partially sighted people. Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers – Municipal Engineer 164(1): 11–13. See (accessed 05/11/2012). Wall Emerson R, Naghshineh K, Hapeman J and Wiener W (2011) A pilot study of pedestrians with visual impairments detecting traffic gaps and surges containing hybrid vehicles. Transportation Research Part F 14(2): 117–127. See http:// (accessed 05/11/2012). WHO (World Health Organisation) (2007) Global Age-Friendly Cities: A Guide. WHO, France.

Actions (login required)

Edit record (repository staff only) Edit record (repository staff only)


Downloads per month over past year