The Reality of the Realm #34 #cong23 #reality


What are the realities for different user groups as we re-think Public Realm ? What has been missing for the last 60 years as we pivot with Urban Design for the betterment of society and factor in nature.

Multiple possibilities abound. Have we the capacity to listen to all voices …

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Key Takeaways:

  1. There are many different user groups, with varying needs, sharing our public spaces – meaningful and transparent Community Engagement is a key component to enabling change.
  2. Integration of Science, Technology, Eningeering, Art. and Maths will all play a role in keeping things real.
  3. Nature and Bio-Diversity are silent actors. Time to hard wire their role in our new reality.
  4. Universal Design is a good start point ..

About Justine Delaney:

A native of Galway City, hoping is to see the City of the Tribes realise it’s economic, cultural and natural potential while at the same time adhering to our SDG commitments as set out in the National Climate Action Plan 2023.

Contacting Justine Delaney:

You can connect with Justine by email

By Justine Delaney

‘ Reality ‘ … a high level summary, refers to the state of things as they exist, independent of our perceptions or interpretations. Reality encompasses the tangible aspects of the world, including physical objects, events, and the fundamental laws that govern the universe. Reality is often contrasted with perceptions or subjective experiences, highlighting the objective nature of the external world. Reality serves as the backdrop against which our thoughts, feelings, and experiences unfold.

In many instances of everyday life, reality for one person varies with that of another, depending on, for example, a person’s physical makeup or perhaps their gender, or their ability to afford things. Their negotiations, interactions with and usage of an external space are not perceptual but their living realty.

An object or tangible aspect of the world around us can offer various quandaries to a particular user group … which is why the Reality of the Public Realm presents many exciting user cases. We are invited explore rural and urban landscapes as our commnities are pressed to re-think how Public Realms will look in the future.

Consider Public Realm and Urban Design, for example, as experienced by men, women, the elderly and the disabled. Urban design can have different impacts on these groups due to societal norms, safety concerns, and accessibility. Women often face specific challenges related to urban planning …. safety concerns in poorly lit areas, limited access to public spaces or basic facilities. Transportation systems and public facilities may not always consider the diverse needs and experiences of genders, physical mobility and how the groups use different communal areas.

Efforts in inclusive urban design aim to create environments that cater to the needs of everyone, addressing issues like safe public spaces, accessible transportation, and equitable amenities. Recognizing and addressing mutli group aspects in urban planning contribute to more inclusive and user-friendly rural and urban spaces.

The reality of urban design for individuals with disabilities often involves challenges related to accessibility and inclusivity. Many cities may not be adequately equipped with ramps, elevators, or tactile paths, making it difficult for people with mobility challenges to navigate public spaces. Additionally, issues like visual and auditory impairments can create barriers without proper accommodations, such as audible crosswalk signals or braille signage.

Efforts towards universal design, which prioritizes accessibility for people of all abilities, aim to address these challenges. Creating environments that are inclusive benefits not only those with disabilities but society as a whole. Awareness and advocacy for accessible urban design play a crucial role in fostering more equitable and accommodating realities for all.

So how are the realities of differing user groups to be shared, how can nature be factored in and how can we ensure the quite voices are heard ?

What are some of the key considerations of good public realm design:

• Accessibility
• Inclusivity
• Safety
• Meaningful and Transparent Community Engagement
• Mobility and Transportation
• Green and Blue Spaces
• Affordability
• Cultural Sensitivity
• Science, Art and Technology Integration
• Flexibility and Adaptability

Presenting and discussing realities ….. everything is impossible until it’s possible.