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Housing at the fulcrum: a systems approach to uncovering built environment obstacles to city scale accessibility and inclusion

In the context of rising numbers of people with disability in Australian cities, this paper describes a study determining actions to overcome unintended obstacles in the built environment to city-scale accessibility and inclusivity in a regional city in Australia. Prior studies have largely failed to connect social inclusion obstacles in the built environment with factors leading to social exclusion in other domains that have impact on, and are impacted by, the built environment. An approach based on systems thinking allowed a wide range of stakeholders, including many with lived-experience of disability, to exchange ideas in a short timeframe linking the built environment with other obstacles to accessible and inclusive cities. One hundred and nineteen actions were identified to overcome these obstacles, with 37 of these prioritised according to impact and feasibility. Nineteen of these 37 are imbedded in the built environment. Access to appropriate and affordable housing was identified as a key factor across all domains. Importantly, it was found that access for people with disability to appropriately designed and affordable housing was at the fulcrum of many other issues, across numerous city domains, that created obstacles to meaningful living and fulfilled lives. The process advanced understanding of how housing is impacted by, and has impacts on, a wide sphere of socio-political and physical contexts.



Journal of Housing and the Built Environment


1 - 19




Berlin, Germany






In Press

Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal