Wise City as an accessible city. Directions of positive changes in Poland on the example of academic town at the Silesian University of Technology in Gliwice

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Submission Summary
The development of any community is inextricably linked to the space in which it occupies. This means that on the one hand the community shapes the space, on the other hand the space shapes the community. From among many urban development trends that gained acceptance and popularity in recent decades, such as smart city, eco city, 15-minute city or wise city, the author believes that the latter should play a leading role, since its aim is to balance the (inevitable) impact of modern technologies on urban planning and architecture through its coexistence with ecology and human potential. Certainly in the coming future we should form a space looking for its role rather than its shape. If the role of space is, among other things, to include all potential users in the participation of society, this will naturally fail without ensuring that urban / architectural space is accessible to them. The research related to neuroscience proves that the most negative emotions in social coexistence are caused by exclusion.This means that without implementing the principles of inclusive and social space we will not change this negative still functioning in many places, excluding various groups of state users from social life. In Poland, changes in this area are progressing, as it currently seems, in the right direction. In July 2019, a new law on "ensuring accessibility for people with special needs" was approved, forcing public authorities to take actions to ensure that all facilities under their authority are adapted to the limitations and needs of users with different degrees of disability (including people with physical disabilities, the blind and visually impaired, the deaf and hearing impaired, autistic people, the elderly, pregnant women, and many others). There is also a wide range of training on increasing awareness in this issue. Thanks to EU funding, universities have also been given the opportunity to introduce changes appropriate to accessibility for people with special needs in many domains, including spatial ones. The purpose of this paper is to present, on the example of public space belonging to the university campus in Gliwice, the planned and already to some extent implemented positive solutions not only in the field of elimination of architectural barriers, but also the implementation of new, innovative on a Polish scale arrangements for urban accessibility. The innovation concerns solutions for the blind and visually impaired. The concept consists in correlating commonly known tactile maps (tyflomaps) described in Braille with their innovative combination with Totupoint markers by Jan Szuster, a Polish engineer and innovator. These markers, based on an application in a smartphone, inform the user by voice from the actual location that the destination has been reached. These solutions are installed on the campus of the Silesian University of Technology in Gliwice.
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1: Inclusiveness and empowerment. Al-Majlis: planning with and for communities
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Associate Professor
Silesian University of Technology in Gliwice, Faculty of Architecture

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