Evaluation of Urban Spaces from the Perspective of Universal Design Principles: The Case of Konya/Turkey

Keywords: city and regional planning, universal design, accessibility, disability


During the process of accessing services provided within urban interior and outer spaces the elderly and disabled individuals encounter with a myriad of problems due to the limitations posed by structured environments. This limitation hinders elderly and disabled individuals from mobility without assistance, which in turn negatively affects their full participation to urban and social life. Rearrangement of urban spaces to meet the needs of elderly and disabled individuals would correspondingly bolster life quality of the entire range of users. Within the scope of present research, as mandated by universal design principles to stick to plans and designs approaches inclusive for all users, it is aimed to conduct evaluations on the use of urban outer spaces situated within Konya city center. In the hypothetical and theoretical part of this paper, the perception of disability throughout historical process has been examined from a sociological perspective. In addition, concept of universal design, its principles and gravity have also been elaborated. In the part dealing with the case study, outer spaces within Konya city center have been analyzed with respect to universal design principles and a range of suggestions have been developed.


Download data is not yet available.

Author Biography

H. Filiz Alkan Meshur, Selcuk University

Associate Professor at the Department of City and Regional Planning, Faculty of Architecture, Selcuk University, Konya/Turkey. She graduated from Department of City and Regional Planning of Gazi University (1995), completed her MSc in City Planning at METU-Middle East Technical University (1999) and received PhD degree from the Department of Architecture of Selcuk University (2006). Her research interests are Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs), housing areas planning policies, disability and universal & barrier-free design.


Brisenden, S. (1998). Independent living and the medical model of disability. In T. Shakespeare (Ed.), The disability reader: Social science perspectives (20-27). London and New York: Cassell. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02674648666780171

Centre for Universal Design. (2011). The new principles of universal design. Centre for Universal Design, College of Design, North Carolina State University. Retrieved from http://www.ncsu.edu/project/design-projects/udi/center-for-universal-design/the-principles-of-universal-design/.

Charlton, J.I. (1998). Nothing about us without us: Disability of oppressions and empowerment. Berkeley, Los Angeles/London: University of California Press.

Dostoglu, N., Sahin, E. & Taneli, Y. (2009). Inclusive approach to design: Design for all, universal design: definitions, objectives, principles (in Turkish: Tasarıma kapsayıcı yaklaşım: Herkes için tasarım, evrensel Tasarım: Tanımlar, hedefler, ilkeler). Mimarlık, 347. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/dre.

Goldsmith, S. (1976). Designing for the disabled problems of conflicting criteria. MA (contab) Riba Publicotions Limited. London, 65–77.

Kaplan, H. (2007). As a component of urban design; barrier-free design for providing accessibility and legibility of the urban space. File 04, Chamber of Architects Ankara Branch, 51-62. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0968759032000052914

Oliver, M. (1990). The politics of disablement: A sociological approach. New York: St. Martin's Press.

Ozarslan, A. (2010). A study of the feasibility of barrier-free space design at a university campus (Master Thesis). Gazi University Institute of Science Technology, Ankara, Turkey. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/IEMBS.2007.4353411

Turkish Statistical Institute. (2010). Survey on problems and expectations of disabled people, Turkish Statistical Institute. Retrieved from http://www.Turkish Statistical Institute.gov.tr/ (Accessed 12th May 2015).

United Nations. (2004). Accessibility for the disabled a design manual for a barrier-free environment. Retrieved from http://www.un.org/esa/socdev/enable/designm/ (Accessed 06th February 2016).

United Nations. (2006). Convention on the rights of persons with disabilities and optional protocol. Retrieved from http://www .un.org/disabilities/documents/convention/convoptprot-e.pdf (Accessed 03th Apr 2016).

Winter, J.A. (2003). The development of the disability rights movement as a social problem solver. Disability Studies Quarterly, 23(1) 33-61.

How to Cite
Alkan Meshur, H. F. (2016). Evaluation of Urban Spaces from the Perspective of Universal Design Principles: The Case of Konya/Turkey. TeMA - Journal of Land Use, Mobility and Environment, 9(2), 191-208. https://doi.org/10.6092/1970-9870/3786