The Accessible and Inclusive Geelong Project was a feasibility study led by Deakin’s HOME Research Hub, funded for $250,000 by the Victorian State Government’s Department of Health and Human Services.
The project envisions a city designed so that it can be accessed, understood and used to the greatest extent possible by all people, regardless of their age, size, ability or disability. The research includes economic evaluation to inform recommendations for the best returns on investment. The broad areas addressed by the study include:
- built environment
- community infrastructure
- employment and economic participation
HOME used an approach built upon the precepts of deep and rich community engagement, and participatory design that puts end users at the centre of the decision-making process. The approach brings together and builds upon a considerable body of work completed by key stakeholders in Geelong, including the significant efforts of the City of Greater Geelong.
Community engagement in the process aimed for a shift in attitudes in general to support those with disability and others that have been marginalised due to low income, poor or unaffordable housing or access to work and facilities. This aim recognises that social attitudes underpin the design of built environments & social infrastructure.
Through the Accessible and Inclusive Geelong project, HOME aims to inform a future where…
Sending the kids off to school safely, catching public transport to work, getting to a class at Deakin University or the Gordon, having a drink or a bite by the beach before taking a bus home and supporting the CATS – for everyone, whatever their age or ability, daily life activities are a breeze in Geelong. Policies and services in the city are committed to ensuring that it is accessible and the community inclusive. Easy movement, the availability of a range of employment opportunities, educational offerings, and a huge number of leisure activities that are designed to be accessible to all ensure that Geelong is Australia’s premier accessible city, a world leading inclusive city, and a preferred accessible tourist destination.
Out of 119 actions identified by stakeholders to improve the accessibility and inclusivity of their city, 37 were prioritised. Nineteen of these 37 had currency in the built environment. The supply of appropriate and affordable housing was identified as a key factor impacting all domains of social exclusion.
ACCESS THE FULL REPORT HERE: Accessible and Inclusive Geelong Feasibility Study