Outdoor activities and public spaces for all

Posted .

The City of Sydney will create more inclusive streets and open spaces for everyone – including people with disability, older people and families – with a new policy to ensure the city is welcoming and accessible for all.

The draft inclusive and accessible public domain policy is part of the City’s ongoing commitment to promote inclusion and accessibility across its public spaces as outlined in A City for All: Inclusion (Disability) Action Plan 2017–2021.

The policy guides the design and maintenance of public infrastructure and spaces including footpaths, street furniture, parks, playgrounds and sports fields. Specific guidance is included for kerb ramps, accessible public toilets, picnic settings and playgrounds in public parks.

It also includes guidelines for community gardens, footpath gardens and activities such as markets, to ensure these are inclusive and accessible for all people who want to be involved.

Following a Council vote, the policy is open for feedback from community, particularly people with disability. Proactive consultation will include workshops run by people with disability for their peers and City-led briefings for industry professionals such as developers and architects.

Lord Mayor Clover Moore said it is vital that open spaces, parks, footpaths and community facilities can be used by everyone, regardless of their ability.

“Creating a welcoming, inclusive city for everyone is one of our top priorities. I hope that this policy will further reduce the physical and social barriers for people living with disability to enjoy our city,” the Lord Mayor said.

“We’re designing a tailored program of engagement to make sure we hear from people living with disability, the wider community and business about our draft policy.”

“A city that is designed to be accessible for people with disability benefits the entire community. I’m really proud of the work our staff have done to develop this policy, and grateful to the members of the City’s Inclusion Advisory Panel for their assistance. This work will help inform similar policies across metropolitan Sydney”.

The policy is based on Australian accessibility standards and best practice approaches. It aims for a consistent approach while allowing some flexibility for design and environmental factors.

It was developed in collaboration with the City’s Inclusion (Disability) Advisory Panel. The panel reflects the diversity of the disability sector, with panel members selected for their expertise in areas including urban planning, arts, transport and housing.

“This policy creates opportunities for everybody in the community to improve their lives by exploring the city and discovering its hidden treasures,” said Mark Tonga, Chair of the City’s Inclusion (Disability) Advisory Panel. “I’m pleased the City of Sydney has the vision to lead the way on this, as better access to the city will help not just people in wheelchairs but the elderly, people pushing prams and people with temporary disabilities.”

The City has a longstanding commitment to creating an inclusive city for people with disability. Recent improvements to the accessibility of public spaces include the introduction of tactile and braille street signs across the local area.

The draft policy and guidelines incorporates significant advances in universal design approaches and changes to standards for public spaces and infrastructure since 2004.

These documents will be on public exhibition until 28 June for community feedback. This will help shape the final plan presented to council.

For media inquiries or images, contact Roxanne Macara or Claire Thompson. Phone 0438 554 640 or email mediateam@cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au

For interviews with Lord Mayor Clover Moore, contact Anusha Muller. Phone 0408 494 545 or email amuller@cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au

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