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  • First “Universal Design Center” Opened by a Local Government

  • Culture & Tourism news SMG 1324

    First “Universal Design Center” Opened by a Local Government

    The “Universal Design Center of Seoul,” a specialized organization for “design welfare” without discrimination, was established for the first time by a local government. The center located in Dongdaemun Design Plaza (DDP) is composed of and operated by experts in the fields of architecture, urbanism, and spatial design with a wide range of experience and expertise.

    The Seoul Metropolitan Government (SMG) aims to apply universal design that has laid its foundation over the past decade throughout Seoul, realizing a city designed to include all people, regardless of gender, age, disability, or nationality.

    While the SMG has mandated the application of universal design in all public structures and facilities for construction and renovation starting in 2021, the center will be providing consultation for finding optimized designs for such projects. The accumulated experience, manuals, and cases will be shared with similar projects in the future.

    An “expert advisory group” and “citizen group” will be formed to listen to the voices of citizens, including those with disabilities, foreign residents, as well as experts, and reflect them in policies. There will also be educational and promotional campaigns for raising awareness surrounding universal design and encouraging the participation of more citizens.

    Furthermore, to promote universal design in more public and private facilities, a partnered project including the private, government, industries, and academic sectors will be actively considered.

    With the rapid transition into a society where non-contact is becoming the norm, socially disadvantaged groups, such as senior citizens and people with disabilities, will face greater difficulties. Therefore, the SMG created the Universal Design Project to design the city from the eyes of these people and make it the new criteria for the post-COVID-19 world.

    The opening ceremony for the center will be streamed through YouTube on at 3:00 p.m. on Dec. 22, 2020. In the video, acting Mayor Seo Jung-hyup of Seoul will be announcing the “Statement of Seoul as a Universal Design City.” The statement will convey Seoul’s resolution to spread the spirit of universal design in all administrative areas of Seoul and to make it the standard of the post-COVID-19 world. The center’s role and Seoul’s directions for public design policies will be relayed through the YouTube channel of “Seoul Universal Design Center,” considering the soaring trend of confirmed COVID-19 cases.

    The “Statement of Seoul as a Universal Design City” aims to create a “human-centered Seoul where everyone is respected.” The main goals of the project are to ▴present opportunities for communication and participation, ▴spread a culture of practical design, establish and expand the standards for inclusive designs, and ▴create a safe and convenient space for everyone.

    In addition, the slogan, “A Tomorrow for Everyone,” will be presented, followed by a briefing on the directions for Seoul’s public design policies.