Accessibility of shared space for visually impaired persons: A comparative field study

Havik, E., Steyvers, F. J. J. M., Kooijman, A. & Melis, B., May-2015, In : British Journal of Visual Impairment. 33, 2, p. 96-110 15 p.

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Shared Space is a concept that comprises the design and planning process of a public space. There are concerns about the accessibility of Shared Spaces for people who are visually impaired. In a comparative field study, the wayfinding performance of 25 visually impaired persons (VIPs) was observed while they carried out standardized tasks in two Shared-Space locations and two conventionally designed settings. The tasks were followed by interviews regarding the participants’ experiences. In Shared-Space locations, more time was needed to complete routes and the blind participants in particular were less independent compared to conventional locations. The Shared-Space locations were evaluated more negatively than the conventional locations. The most salient
problems encountered in Shared Space were related to orientation. The results clearly confirm how complex navigating a Shared Space can be for VIPs, albeit not to the same extent for all individuals and for all locations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)96-110
Number of pages15
JournalBritish Journal of Visual Impairment
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - May-2015


  • Accessibility, mobility, orientation, shared space, visually impaired

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