Throughout history social aspects of sustainability have received less attention than the ecological and economic dimensions. The underlying reason is that it is a fragmented notion and not clearly defined in policy and practice. The United Nations 'Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities' opens up opportunities to drive forward socially inclusive policy. This Convention is an important milestone in the history of accessibility developments, of which an overview is presented in this paper. The Netherlands will ratify the Convention in 2015, therewith committing itself to creating an integral accessible environment in order to facilitate social inclusion. Since Dutch regulations regarding accessibility in the public built environment lack important aspects for fulfilling this promise, ratification will not be without consequences. Although the goal of this Convention is clear, it does not provide practical suggestions for facilitating social inclusion. This research therefore makes recommendations for measures to improve Dutch regulations. These recommendations are based on an analysis of current regulations, comprising literature research and detailed regulation investigation and comparison. The research considers disabilities that hinder interaction with the built environment: visual, auditory and mobility disabilities. It is found that legally mandatory regulations mainly concern the latter and that this legislation mainly regards the building's primary structure, while e.g. finishings, electrical services and fixed facilities are unspecified. Conclusions on this analysis and the link to practice are explored through an expert meeting. By signing the Convention the EU has committed herself to creating a barrier-free Europe, hence the authors recommend on the inclusion of integral accessibility requirements in the public built environment for further development of a European sustainability standard.
|Title of host publication||The 7th international conference of SuDBE2015, Reading, UK, 27-29 July, 2015|
|Number of pages||8|
|Publication status||Published - 2015|
|Event||7th International Conference on Sustainable Development in Building and Environment (SuDBE 2015) - University of Reading, Reading, United Kingdom|
Duration: 27 Jul 2015 → 29 Dec 2015
Conference number: 7
|Conference||7th International Conference on Sustainable Development in Building and Environment (SuDBE 2015)|
|Abbreviated title||SuDBE 2015|
|Period||27/07/15 → 29/12/15|
|Other||The 7th international conference on Sustainable Development in Building and Environment (SuDBE) which was hosted by The School of Construction Management and Engineering ( now the School of Built Environment) took place at the University of Reading, Reading, from the 27th - 29th July 2015. The conference was organised in partnership with University of Cambridge, UK and Chongqing University, China. Over the course of two days, over 95 researchers presented their work to an audience of 170 people from 16 countries including China, UK, USA, Australia, Netherlands, Italy, Portugal, Turkey, Japan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Nigeria, Egypt, Jordan, Serbia and Iraq.|
sudbe-group-webThe Opening Session was chaired by Professor Stuart Green (Conference Co-Chair and Head of The School of Built Environment). This was followed by a welcome address from the University of Reading by Prof. Gavin Brooks; Pro-Vice-Chancellor. On behalf of Prof. Baizhan Li and Prof. Stuart Green (both conference co-chairs), Prof. Koen Steemers from the University of Cambridge presented the welcome address from conference Chairs. Following this, Prof Runming Yao led the Keynote sessions and also closed the ceremony at the end of the conference.
The feedback from the participants was that the conference was a resounding success. The conference continues to provide a platform to facilitate meaningful interaction between academics, researchers and practitioners working within the field of sustainability and the built environment.
The closing ceremony featured best paper presentations by Prof. Andrew Baldwin (Chair of the Scientific Committee). Prof Yao (Chair of the conference organisation committee) thanked the participants and conference organisation team. Prof. Hong Liu announced the arrangement of next SuDBE conference; welcoming all participants to Chongqing, China in 2017 for the 8th international SuDBE Conference.
Conference website: www.sudbe.com