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Design sustainable streets and cities that can cater for the ease of mobility for the disabled persons eliminating alienation.

KUWA aims to designs unique urban spaces to address ease of mobility for the disabled that can be integrated with current city designs.

Photo of Michelle Wanjiru
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What problem does your idea solve?

The challenge is designing for the future, to ensure that the designs have a level of longevity and avoiding the risk of becoming obsolete as well as integrating those designs with the standard and usual designs for the other pedestrians. The greatest opportunity is to have the disabled to have a safe system in which they can go about their day to day activities within town centers and get to enjoy all the benefits of the city. This system will lower the alienation problem they face.

Explain your idea

Our idea includes using design methods such as design thinking, participatory design, and Minecraft to design cities and urban spaces that allow the ease of mobility for the disabled. This includes similar designs that can be used by both the disabled and non-disabled.This designs will be integrated into the walkways, transport terminus and generally around the city. The goal is to ensure that there is no separate area of the city that the disabled can use but can mutually access and use the city with others safely and with no external assistance. The idea is to incorporate these designs into the already present designs of the city by using durable and sustainable materials, methods and techniques to achieve this design. The design is aimed to be long-lasting and in line with the design of future smart cities.

Who benefits?

The disabled groups of all ages get to benefit. From the children to the elderly, they will be able to access and safely use the city with others mutually. The main goal is mobility for all. This will be achieved through integrated design using design thinking and participatory design in order to design for the users. This aspect of mobility will form the initial stages of lowering dependency as it opens doors for the disabled to generate income.

How is your idea unique?

Our idea is unique in the sense that we will already use current city plans and integrate our ideas seamlessly. Our main angle is to ensure the designs do not alienate the disabled from the non-disabled hence both can use the same street equally. The other is how will integrate all these systems to cater for different types of disability. As most designs will not focus on only special segments of the city but a city as a whole rooting from transport terminus, around the city, in and out of markets and crossing roads. The idea is to ensure that the disabled can maneuver through the city with no needed assistance. This can be the beginning of also lowering the unemployment rate for the disabled as they can access and utilize all areas of the cities. The outcome is to ensure that the designs are safe with longevity and are aligned with the goals of future cities. The uses of durable and sustainable materials as well to ensure that the whole process is not a danger to the local environment

Tell us more about you

Kuwa is a social entrepreneurship organization based in Kenya that uses multidisciplinary design actions such as design thinking and participatory design in upgrading urban spaces in low- income communities and other urban spaces within cities; Also through design, we tackle issues that evolve around rapid urbanization in our cities. We work as a team to make this idea into a sustainable and long term reality.

What are some of your unanswered questions about the idea?

1.)How will the end designs look like? 2.) How to have designs that do not alienate or segregate the disabled? 3.) How to sync all these systems to ensure that the whole city is at par so that no areas are ignored? 4.) How will we integrate all the different types of special needs detailing on one street? 5.) How much will it cost for a city to adapt to this? 6.) How will we incorporate this into already existent streets? 8.) Can these spaces include areas where the disabled can use as an area of self-expression or business? 9.) How can we combine designs to cater for all types of disabilities? 10.) How can we integrate exponential technology into this whole process or outcome? 11.) How can we ensure that the designs are durable?

Where will your idea be implemented?

  • Kenya

Expertise in Sector

  • I've worked in a sector related to my idea for more than a year.

Organizational Status

  • We are a registered for-profit company (including social enterprises).

Idea Maturity

  • Research & Early Testing: I am exploring my idea, gathering the inspiration and information I need to test it.

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