Themes

Universal Design is a process to provide environments and services which are accessible to a wide diversity of users, including persons with disabilities. The Design for All standardisation (2019) launched by EU commission aims at including accessibility in the mainstream standards. How to enhance accessibility for persons with disabilities and older persons in the early design, development and production process of mainstream services, environments and objects?


Built environment

Are we building inclusively and taking into account the heterogeneity and diversity of the population?  The built environment can promote equality and enhance possibilities of participation within the community. Universal Design of the everyday environment may decrease segregation and contribute to social sustainability.

  • Housing Design
  • Urban design, urban planning
  • Public buildings and infrastructure
  • Educational buildings

Access to information

As digitalization rapidly changes services in both public and private sectors many questions related to universal design arise. Who are the creators of data, who makes the decisions and how can we make sure everyone is included? How do we integrate universal design in education and provide life-long learning possibilities for all?

  • Digital services that make daily life easier for people
  • Accessibility of Websites and Mobile Applications (The European Union Directive)
  • Universal Design in education and life-long learning
  •  Teaching Universal Design
  • Evolving digital solutions (e.g. virtual environments and artificial intelligence): possibilities and ethical considerations

Health and Wellbeing

How does the built environment support health and wellbeing? Universal design is a factor in urban health, city and neighbourhood planning, building, interior and landscape design. Well-designed environments and services benefit all and are a source of joy and dignity.

  • Outdoor and recreational environments
  • Art and Culture
  • Health equity
  • Health care facilities
  • Communication
  • Assistive technology

Transport and mobility

New mobility solutions, both physical and digital, are being introduced at a rapid pace. In an app-based and more automatized world, design for all users is even more essential. What is universal design for the transport of people and goods? How to promote walkability, navigation and wayfinding in the urban areas? There is a need to clarify legislation, update guidelines and increase awareness among providers of mobility services.

  • Accessibility of transport services, including mobility (physical movement)
  • Transport network and land use
  • Urban design
  • Navigation and wayfinding
  • Design of public transport vehicles
  • Transport stops and station areas