In recognition of our aims and approach, Planet Smart City has been recognised as a member of the EIDD – Design for All Europe network. We are on-board as a Member Organisation, which is the highest category of membership and means that Planet are recognised as wholly committed to the network’s wider aims and goals.
EIDD – Design for All Europe is a network of organisations in design-related fields who are committed to reflecting the central idea that, for designs to be truly functional, they must be accessible to everyone. The organisation was founded in 1993 and has grown to be well-respected both in Europe and further afield as a leading advocate for disabled people and their right to not only access public and private spaces but to experience the world in a manner that is as free of obstacles as possible.
The philosophy of Design for All states that environments, products, services and interfaces work for everyone, regardless of age or ability and in all circumstances. As Planet has made a conscious effort to integrate these principles into our projects from the ground up, our membership of EIDD – Design for All Europe is a natural fit and we look forward to not only sharing our ideas about making spaces more suited to disabled people with the wider network, but to having access to the most innovative best practice solutions and being able to use this knowledge to inform our developments.
Whereas regulations surrounding accessibility are practised throughout much of Europe (including in Italy, where our Competence Centre is based), many governments in emerging countries have failed to ensure that protective legislation is widely enforced. In spite of this, Planet has consistently made sure that residents of all abilities are considered when decisions are made for our large-scale Brazilian projects, Smart City Laguna and Smart City Natal. We have always felt that for a neighbourhood to be truly inclusive, then all of its residents must be able to enjoy and benefit from all of its features.
While many of the organisations involved in EIDD – Design for All Europe are experts in designing objects or solutions, we specialise in creating places that matter where all aspects of a development are carefully integrated to work together. As real estate is not currently a category for members, we are recognised by the network as an ‘innovation centre’, which seems appropriate considering the key role of our Competence Centre in Planet’s processes.
In time, we hope to assess which parts of Planet’s smart solutions catalogue can be described using the Design for All concept, and for Laguna – which as of now is our largest and most comprehensive smart city development – to be evaluated as a case study by EIDD. Although we are not currently working with any of the other members, a brief glance at the 34 organisations that we are now listed alongside reveals that there are many interesting and fruitful connections to be made.
EIDD – Design for All Europe works on concepts very similar to our own: that everyone has the fundamental right to safe, accessible products, services and systems and that all stakeholders must be taken into account when designing homes and communities. It is testament to the strength of our proposition that our commitment to these ideas has been acknowledged by a body with the heritage of EIDD – Design for All Europe. As a member organisation, we will strive to make sure that what we do promotes and communicates this message, and – most importantly of all – achieves the highest level of accessibility and social inclusion possible.
If you’d like to find out more about EIDD – Design for All Europe, please click here.
Chief Research and Urban Planning Officer, Planet Smart City