There is an initiative in India to make 100 cities into “Smart Cities.” Smart cities should include features like inclusive housing, walkable neighbourhoods, open spaces, and public transportation options. Ahmedabad is a city of almost six million people participating in the Smart Cities Challenge. Municipal and regional projects like a bus rapid transit system and a waterfront development program were discussed at the conclave as examples of endeavours in which accessibility was not considered early enough in the process. Transport facilities need to be accessible, and last-mile connectivity (getting from a transit hub to home) needs to be considered for all transportation users.
Events generating awareness about universal design can help to influence future products, encourage compliance with laws regarding accessibility, and help to generate solutions to existing barriers. To read coverage of the conclave in the Times of India, click here and learn more about Smart Cities here.