A Winning Approach

5 old ladies standing around sign chatting

Connecting People to Place – An age Friendly Way Finding Strategy recently won the 2019 AITPM Excellence Award.  The peak industry accolade in the Traffic and Transport industry, this award recognises professional excellence, encouraging innovation and practices that challenge the standard way that industry approaches their services.

Excellence and innovation are standard practice for URPS and Infraplan, who partnered to develop an Age-Friendly Wayfinding Strategy for the City of Norwood Payneham & St Peters (NPSP), funded by the Office for Ageing Well through their Age Friendly Community Grants.  It aimed to encourage older residents to walk more – a simple goal with profound impacts on individuals and community.

There are opportunities and challenges associated with an ageing population.  Some older people can experience difficulty in negotiating the outdoor environment due to loss of mobility, hearing, vision, memory and/or cognitive skills.  This can result in a fear of leaving home, which in turn reduces independence, social connectedness, health and wellbeing.  It also reduces a person’s ability to participate in, and contribute to, the wider community.

Connecting People to Place – An age Friendly Way Finding Strategy was developed through the application of principles that put community first:

  • A multidisciplinary team ensured a broad perspective that considered the needs of older people alongside the strengths of the community infrastructure.  It was then able to test developing ideas against Australian standards and guidelines for universal design and wayfinding.
  • A Co-design approach ensured that older people were involved in the development of the way finding strategy through their participation in ‘walking audits’.
  • A transferable toolkit and process was developed to ensure the community can continue to be involved in the rollout of the way finding strategy across the City.

The Age Friendly Way Finding Strategy provides the City of NPSP with a framework for a universally accessible wayfinding and signage system throughout the Council area that increases transport choice, health and navigational confidence amongst older residents and others with diverse abilities.  This award-winning project position the City of NPSP as an age friendly, inclusive and people-focussed place – one that values older people and encourages them to remain active and connected to community.

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