Friendly and accessible public spaces : the Venetian case

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The population of Venice is falling drastically and its people are ageing steadily and living a unique existence as regards the town’s morphology. Venice has no car traffic and thus urban accessibility for elderly people is neither straightforward nor always safe. The reasons which make it difficult to live in the historic centre are bound up with its specific features: its town framework is made up of 120 islands linked together by bridges, alleyways and fondamenta canal side streets frequently free of rails, all of which are accessible primarily on foot as the public ferry service cannot link up all its urban spaces and areas. In the light of this, it is important to enable elderly people to get out into open spaces for both health reasons and in relation to the passage of the seasons as well as for socialising. This research work enquires into the physical barriers in the town which can make moving around its open spaces difficult, the various technical and architectural solutions which have been adopted over the years to improve public transport and urban policies designed for an age friendly town.
age-friendly cities, urban accessibility, Venice, elderly people