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Barrier-free outdoor environments: Older peoples' perceptions before and after implementation of legislative directives


  • Wennberg, Hanna
  • Hydén, Christer
  • Ståhl, Agneta


An increased focus on international and national levels of society to meet the transportation needs of older people and people with disabilities is realized through legislation, directives and guidelines on accessibility. This paper examines effects of removing physical barriers according to current Swedish governmental accessibility directives on older peoples' perceptions of outdoor environments (usability) and on their mobility and perceived safety as pedestrians. This paper also focuses on municipal planners' views on the implementation of improved accessibility. A before-after study, using both qualitative and quantitative methods, is conducted. The results from the questionnaires show that older peoples' overall satisfaction with the outdoor environment has increased after implementation; however no differences are found if physical barriers specifically are considered. Older peoples' mobility is also unchanged; nevertheless, fewer respondents are stating difficulties in walking due to barriers in the outdoor environments as reason to avoid outdoor mobility. Problems do remain after implementation, for example concerning safety/security-related issues and inaccessible entrances and indoor environments.

Suggested Citation

  • Wennberg, Hanna & Hydén, Christer & Ståhl, Agneta, 2010. "Barrier-free outdoor environments: Older peoples' perceptions before and after implementation of legislative directives," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 17(6), pages 464-474, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:trapol:v:17:y:2010:i:6:p:464-474

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Takemi Sugiyama & Catharine Ward Thompson, 2007. "Outdoor environments, activity and the well-being of older people: conceptualising environmental support," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 39(8), pages 1943-1960, August.
    2. Wennberg, Hanna & Ståhl, Agneta & Hydén, Christer, 2009. "Implementing accessibility in municipal planning — planners’ view," The Journal of Transport and Land Use, Center for Transportation Studies, University of Minnesota, vol. 2(2), pages 3-21.
    3. Metz, D. H., 2000. "Mobility of older people and their quality of life," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 7(2), pages 149-152, April.
    4. Vincent Kaufmann & Manfred Max Bergman & Dominique Joye, 2004. "Motility: mobility as capital," International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 28(4), pages 745-756, December.
    5. repec:aph:ajpbhl:1994:84:4:565-570_1 is not listed on IDEAS
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    Cited by:

    1. Ståhl, Agneta & Horstmann, Vibeke & Iwarsson, Susanne, 2013. "A five-year follow-up among older people after an outdoor environment intervention," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 27(C), pages 134-141.
    2. Aarhaug, Jørgen & Elvebakk, Beate, 2015. "The impact of Universally accessible public transport–a before and after study," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 143-150.
    3. Márquez, Luis & Cantillo, Víctor & Arellana, Julián, 2014. "How are comfort and safety perceived by inland waterway transport passengers?," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 46-52.
    4. repec:gam:jsusta:v:8:y:2015:i:1:p:29:d:61481 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Hallgrimsdottir, Berglind & Wennberg, Hanna & Svensson, Helena & Ståhl, Agneta, 2016. "Implementation of accessibility policy in municipal transport planning – Progression and regression in Sweden between 2004 and 2014," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 196-205.
    6. Dominique Gillis & Ivana Semanjski & Dirk Lauwers, 2015. "How to Monitor Sustainable Mobility in Cities? Literature Review in the Frame of Creating a Set of Sustainable Mobility Indicators," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 8(1), pages 1-30, December.


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