Good Practice Database

This database contains good practice examples on how the accessibility of public space and public transport can be improved, covering all categories of the ISEMOA Quality Management System.

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ISEMOA Good Practice Fact Sheet

Title in original language Volume- en oriëntatie-maquettes en 3D-plannen met audio-ondersteuning
Title in English Volume and orientation scale models and 3D maps with audio-assistance
Location Ghent, Belgium
Year 2008
Initiator St.Lucas's Department of Architecture & PRM association
Developed by
(one pick only)
  • Research Institute
Implementation Area
  • Municipality
  • City
  • Region
  • Urban
Supported accessibility level
  • Micro accessibility
Elements of the working process - Preconditions
  • User needs
Elements of the working process - Strategy
  • Partnerships
Elements of the working process - Implementation
  • Supportive measures
  • Accessibility measures and accessibility planning
Type of PRM Affected
  • Visual impaired
  • Hearing impaired
Application Field / Target area - Public Space - Road Design
  • Freedom of barriers
  • Quality
  • Information
Why is it a good practice example? The use of volume and orientation scale models and 3D maps with audio-assistance allow PRM (especially visually impaired and blind people but also people with a hearing impairment) to comment on the new design of a city centre in its developmental phase. The models were designed by students of the St. Lucas Department of Architecture in Ghent, in close cooperation with an association for blind people (Blindenzorg Licht en Liefde vzw).
Background and Objectives / Aims Yearly, the St. Lucas Department of Architecture organises an intensive 11-day workshop 'Designing in the Dark'. The workshop is interdisciplinary and involves master class students and teachers of architecture-related studies from all over Europe as well as visually impaired people. The workshop aims to make designers aware of the importance of designing for all. Within the context of this workshop, the students develop tactile scale models of existing and experienced urban problematic situations. The renewal of the city centre of Ghent (KoBra) was an assignment of the workshop in 2008.

The city of Ghent decided to work together with St. Lucas because they attach importance to the historical centre of the city being accessible for all. The models make the renewal project of the city centre tangible, audible and visible and allow adjustments on accessibility before the actual works start.
Implementation (incl. obstacles, public participation) 6 teams of 10 students developed three types of tactile models of the KoBra project (renewal of the historical city centre of Ghent): volume models, 3D-maps with audio assistance and abstract orientation models displaying the way visually impaired people experience and memorise space. All models were approved by the association of blind people. The models were displayed in the city hall and, at predetermined times, volunteers of the association of blind people explained the works to visually impaired and blind people.

The final model will be designed in durable materials and will be equipped with a speech module. This model will be installed in the newly designed public space itself. There it can be used as a permanent information provider to help PRM to outline the best path.
  • In Euro [EUR]: 12.000
Conclusions (incl. output, analysis of benefits) The first implementation of the scale models (2008-2009) was successful in terms of reactions of PRM but, because of time restraints, the city was not able to adapt the design to the feedback received.

However, based on this positive experience, the city decided to cooperate with the St. Lucas Department of Architecture again for the renewal of the entrance of the city museum (STAM Museum) and for the development of a part of the city that is called 'het Zuid'. For these two locations, the feedback of the PRM was included in the final design of the constructions.

St. Lucas Department of Architecture is currently also expanding the group of PRM for whom they are developing scale models. The new generation of models will also be adapted to people in wheelchairs and people with learning disabilities so that these PRM-groups will be able to screen the design of a construction on accessibility beforehand.

In the near future, also the city of Kortrijk will cooperate with the St. Lucas Department of Architecture for the renewal of one of their own museums.

In the near future, also the city of Kortrijk will cooperate with the St. Lucas Department of Architecture for the renewal of one of their own museums.
Information - documents English_Paper_UD_Japan_confererence_2010_Marc_Dujardin.pdf (439 KB)
example_of_maquette_395_Kb0.png (395 KB)