GDI Hub, NIUA and Kiran Society hold co design workshop to build insights on creating inclusive and accessible urban environment in Varanasi, India
Global Disability Innovation Hub (GDI Hub) and National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA) in partnership with Kiran Society (city-based Non-Governmental Organization) along with the support from Varanasi Smart City Ltd (VSCL) organised a workshop in Varanasi to gather insights on creating more inclusive and accessible urban environments in the city.
As part of the ongoing research case study, the workshop aimed to understand the state of inclusive design and accessible urban environment in the city of Varanasi. The findings and key learnings from the workshop would support two UK Aid funded programmes:
- GDI Hub-led AT2030 ‘Life changing assistive technology for all’ (sub-programme delivering inclusive design and infrastructure in 6 cities around the world)
- NIUA-led BASIIC programme on Building Accessible, Safe and Inclusive Indian Cities (Varanasi being one of the partner cities)
The workshop looked to understand the barriers and challenges faced by Persons with Disabilities (PwDs) in accessing basic infrastructure services, identifying key priority areas for improvement and recommendations for city stakeholders.
A total of 17 participants of varied impairments, age and gender attended and shared their experiences and ideas on how to improve the city from the perspective of accessibility, inclusivity and safety. Activities included journey mapping to capture participants everyday routines and understand individual experiences. Participatory mapping approach was used to build a collective picture of accessibility and inclusion related challenges and identifying key areas for improvement within the city.