AMELIA: making streets more accessible for people with mobility difficulties
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- Mackett, R., Achuthan, K. & Titheridge, H. Urban Des Int (2008) 13: 81. doi:10.1057/udi.2008.12
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Streets can be made more liveable by ensuring that they are accessible to everyone. This requires the identification of ways to overcome the barriers to access for those who are socially excluded. In order to address these issues, a software tool, AMELIA (A Methodology for Enhancing Life by Increasing Accessibility), is being developed to test the extent to which transport policies can increase social inclusion. This is part of a research project being carried out as part of a large programme looking at ‘Accessibility and User Needs in Transport in a Sustainable Urban Environment’. AMELIA will be used to investigate how many more people are able to reach various opportunities, including shops, medical and welfare centres, employment and leisure facilities. It will be used to establish how many people meet accessibility benchmarks defined elsewhere in the project with and without the policy intervention. Micro-level data based upon street audits have been collected for the city of St Albans in Hertfordshire, including details such as steps, slopes, access to individual buildings, and obstructions on the pavement. In this paper, the effect of removing barriers to movement on the street is discussed because, by doing so, streets can be made more liveable.