Barrier-free!_City Without Barriers
The “Barrier-free!_City Without Barriers“ exhibition was on show at the Wiener Planungswerkstatt exhibition centre from October to December 2003. It focused on public spaces and the extent to which the available urban infrastructure provides universal accessibility for all citizens.
“Barrier-free!” was the contribution of the Administrative Group for Urban Development, Traffic and Transport to the “European Year of People with Disabilities”. The objective of the exhibition was to enhance people’s awareness of the barriers people are confronted with in daily life and public spaces and to provide information on measures and improvement potentials. What was there to be seen, heard, discovered? • Installations that made people aware of barriers • Audio features that three school classes had created on the topic of barriers • Texts and picture boards illustrating barriers in daily life • Martin Bruch’s hand-bike movie • A collection of barriers presented by visitors to the exhibition with pictures, short texts and objects they had brought along • A checklist for visitors to enhance their awareness of barriers in public spaces • Products and measures realised in the public space by Vienna’s municipal departments
A comprehensive event programme complemented the exhibition, including readings from children’s books, guided tours for wheelchair users and a 250-metre race. The exhibition itself was almost completely free of barriers: the contents of the information boards were also available in the form of audio recordings, and any of the events within the exhibition programme could be translated by sign language interpreters on request. As a logical aftermath of the exhibition the entrance to the Planungswerkstatt exhibition centre was redesigned to allow universal access. Barrier-free! Exhibition Report: An exhibition report was compiled, which, in addition to the documentation material, also includes a comprehensive service section with useful addresses and five recipes for barrier-free thinking, inviting readers to share the world of mentally and physically challenged people. The report is available (in German) from the City of Vienna Municipal Department for Urban Development and Planning (MA 18)