University of Salford Manchester

Inclusive Design for Getting Outdoors

Inclusive Design for Getting Outdoors (I'DGO) research developed by Professor Marcus Ormerod and Rita Newton of the SURFACE Inclusive Design Research Centre in the School of the Built Environment, has changed policy and practice relating to the design of outdoor environments. Focusing on meeting the needs of older people and disabled people, I'DGO research has supported the training of professionals; from occupational therapists to urban designers, changing people’s lives for the better, supporting older people and disabled people to go out more, through developing user led approaches to shaping outdoor environments.

User and partnership led approaches to design

The aim of I’DGO’s research is to influence built environment policy and practice to enable older people to live independently for longer, by remaining physically and socially active. The research team and their partners have ensured that the outputs are useful and useable for the range of people and groups for whom this work is important. Highlights from a wide range of I'DGO initiatives include:

  • I'DGO guidance on walkability and open space are referenced in the World Health Organization’s Global Age-Friendly Cities: A Guide (2007). This guidance has been used by the Department for Transport (DfT), including extensively in Local Transport Note: Shared Space (LTN1/11), leading to an on-going collaboration between SURFACE and the DfT.
  • I'DGO has worked collaboratively with older people, having particularly close connections with the Kilburn Older Voices Exchange (KOVE) in London, which describes the research as having “greatly benefited KOVE’s community projects; it has helped develop our knowledge and how we campaign and practice at a community level”. Events for older delegates have been co-hosted with Age Scotland, as part of the latter’s Walk in our Shoes; Act on our Issues campaign, and Living Streets, including at the World Congress on Active Ageing (Glasgow, 2012).
  • I'DGO is featured as a case study in Making the Case for the Social Sciences: Ageing, published by the British Society of Gerontology, the Academy of Social Sciences and AgeUK. I’DGO was a runner up in the not-for-profit category of the International Design for all Foundation Awards 2013. SURFACE has been proactive in achieving a number of international impacts from the research, including advising the Japanese Government on its FutureCity initiative and the Chinese Housing Ministry on current trends and innovations in UK research into accessibility.

Key reports

Lifetime Neighbourhoods DCLG, 2011. Pages 48-50, 54, 68.
Local Transport Note 1/11 DfT, 2011. Pages 47, 52.