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What makes an 'All Ages and Abilities' activity sites?

Vancouver, Canada "has a vision to make cycling safe, convenient, comfortable and fun for all ages and abilities (AAA). They make the point that "many types of traditional bike facilities only appeal to people who are comfortable riding in traffic." This is a view I hold, and advocate when engaged in active travel initiatives.

A fenced Multi-Use Games area
Adzhanoev, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Its also a view I hold when it comes to sports and play facilities, formal and informal, inside and out. We repeat the same design of sport facilities that atttact those already comfortable with such environments.


'Why would I want to get in a cage, with one way in and out', is the kind of comment I've heard passed on from women and girls when considering the standard Multi-use Games Area -- or teenage cage.


Vancouver developed this model, identifying different types of 'infrastructure' and the level of comfort (safety and hygiene factors) afforded to classify what they consider provision for 'all ages and abilities'.

This isn't the first time I've seen value in adapting and adopting active travel models, see my in progress work on Street Plans' approach to Tactical Urbanism.


The trouble is that I'm not sure what makes safe, accessible sports infrastrcure is as linear a question as what makes safe, accessible cycling infrastructure.


The removal of fences, the addition of benches (more here), water, shade & shelter, and flexibility of space are definite factors but is there a hierarchy of such facilities?


If you've got thoughts on this I'd love to hear them... share them with me here or on my LinkedIn page.




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