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Workshop: Accessibility and design for all on Reunion Island

Workshop: Accessibility and design for all on Reunion Island

Afterthoughts on the implementation of an “accessibility” workshop at the Sustainable City Center of Design and Innovation alongside the Reunion Island Council for Architecture, Urban-planning and the Environment (CAUE).

A specific context

With the deadlines concerning accessibility implementation across all disabilities on the horizon (2015), the aim of the workshop was to apply the design for all principle to case studies, and trigger exchanges on territory-scale accessibility strategies.

The topographic and climatic characteristics inherent to Reunion Island are far from ideal conditions for the implementation of accessibility for all. What means are available to overcome these rather steep setbacks, and develop new services? What new design or strategic means fueled by the obligation of accessibility for all exist?

Saint Denis City Hall on reunion Island: One of the cases undertaken by interns

A significant partner presence

Upon the recommendation of L’École de design, responsible for overseeing the workshop, Nantes was chosen to host the city’s accessibility policy as presented by Catherine Choquet, elected official in charge of disability. The cities of Saint Pierre and Saint Denis on Reunion Island were actively involved in these exchanges, and made buildings available for testing purposes.

A unique learning model

Given the tremendous breadth in diversity of professionals in attendance (elected officials, architects, city-planners, local authority service directors, etc.), the purpose was to illustrate the cross-functionality of the skills needed to carry out the steps in the design for all process.

The CAUE (Council for Architecture, Urban-planning and the Environment) urged all participants to mark their calendars in 2013, and to give thought to the accessibility and planning challenges of natural areas. Thoughts to be continued at L’École de design Nantes Atlantique…

Skill- and competency-pooling to unlock solutions to accessibility issues