24 August 2015
The challenges of designing built environments that will enhance the lives of the next generation, particularly children with disabilities such as autism, will be examined at a seminar at the University of the Sunshine Coast tomorrow, Tuesday 25 August.
The ‘Sensational Cities’ seminar, co-presented by USC and the Urban Design Alliance of Queensland, will feature visiting international expert in sensory research, education and treatment, Dr Lucy Jane Miller.
Dr Miller, a renowned allied health pioneer and founder of the SPD (Sensory Processing Disorder) Foundation, has developed seven standardised tests for use worldwide to assess and diagnose SPD and other developmental disorders.
She will discuss the impacts of sensory design of outdoor spaces in relation to people with these disorders, including case studies.
The seminar will include presentations of latest research by USC academics and students of Urban Planning, Psychology and Occupational Therapy.
USC Lecturer in Regional and Urban Planning Dr Nicholas Stevens, whose research with the 7 Senses Foundation focuses on inclusive public space design, said all three disciplines were involved in people’s interaction with their environment, and their physical and cognitive responses to it.
“These and other disciplines can work more closely to ensure our future cities consider the needs and access of all users,” he said.
(The 7 Senses Foundation is a not-for-profit group which started in Brisbane in 2013 with the aim of creating healthier and happier neighbourhoods and communities that include people of all abilities and wellness, and cultivate activity and play.)
Dr Stevens, a theme leader of research into land use planning and urban design with USC’s Centre for Human Factors and Sociotechnical Systems, said the seminar was an opportunity for local students, council representatives and design and construction professionals to learn more about the latest findings and trends.
— Julie Schomberg