Benchmarking Spatial Access for Community-Level Accessibility

A cartoon of several people walking along a street. Some people are using mobility aids. A dotted line on the street symbolizes the beginning and end of a journey.

The accessibility of public spaces is often studied by looking at either, 

  1. the quality of pedestrian infrastructure along individual sidewalks, trails, street crossings, etc. to facilitate use by pedestrians of all ages and abilities, or  
  2. the proximity of services and amenities from homes and transit – i.e., how far pedestrians need to travel to reach essential destinations.

The PEACH Research Unit of Dalhousie University is conducting a study that combines these perspectives to learn how to assess spatial accessibility that is inclusive of the needs of residents with disabilities.

This research asks, 

  • What services and amenities are of priority to residents living with disabilities to access close to home? 
  • How far is too far to travel as a pedestrian to reach these destinations? 
  • What features in the built environment are necessary in order to be able to navigate safely and efficiently?

To help answer these questions, the research team will be consulting directly with individuals living with all types of disabilities to learn from their experiences, travel habits, and diverse needs as pedestrians and transit users. 

Community Consultation

An online survey, and several in-person and virtual focus group opportunities will be advertised in Summer/Fall 2023 to engage with people living with disabilities about where and how far they travel as pedestrians. Stay tuned for more scheduled consultations!

A digital poster shows an accessibility symbol along a dotted line leading to a cartoon grocery store. Text asks "Do you walk/wheel to get to places around your neighbourhood?"

Focus Group Consent Form

Focus group participants are encouraged to review the consent material prior to registering for and attending any consultation sessions.

The consent form has been made available below in PDF format.