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Title: Understanding Children's Independent Mobility through the Lens of Universal Design: A Case of Delhi, India
Authors: Tyagi M.
Raheja, Gaurav
Verma I.
Published in: Studies in Health Technology and Informatics
Proceedings of the 5th International Conference on Universal Design, UD 2021
Abstract: Children's independent mobility (CIM) is associated with improved physical activity and social competence among children. Despite such benefits, there is a worldwide decline in overall CIM levels, owing to the multi-factors of the insufficient supportive built environment, traffic and negative parental perception. This paper attempts to make a unique case of relooking children's everyday mobility experiences by adopting a universal design (UD) approach. The key objectives are to (i) discuss the global evolution of CIM in comparison to UD from an Indian narrative, (ii) understand CIM though parental concerns and children's perspective, and (iii) develop a shared connection between UD goals and CIM. These objectives were achieved by a desk-based literature review followed by a qualitative pilot study within an urban neighbourhood of Delhi. Focus group discussion with twenty children in the age group of 7-12 years and personal interview sessions with fifteen parents were conducted, which were analysed using content analysis method. The literature suggests that to date, CIM has been majorly looked upon from the two-point perspective of urban planning and health. Whereas UD provides an opportunity for bringing in the dimension of †culture' into the discussion. Especially in a culturally diverse country like India, where children and parental discussions reveal concerns of safety, familiarity and proximity to child-specific destinations as a precursor for CIM levels. Overall, this study emphasises that both CIM and UD form a complementary process overarching the aim of empowering children to move freely, promoting their health, social participation and inclusion. © 2021 The authors and IOS Press.
Citation: Studies in Health Technology and Informatics (2021), 282: 361-373
Issue Date: 2021
Publisher: IOS Press BV
Keywords: Children's Independent Mobility
Universal Design
urban neighbourhood
ISBN: 9.78E+12
ISSN: 9269630
Author Scopus IDs: 57191266463
Author Affiliations: Tyagi, M., Department of Architecture and Planning, Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee, India
Raheja, G., Department of Architecture and Planning, Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee, India
Corresponding Author: Tyagi, M.; Department of Architecture and Planning, India; email:
Appears in Collections:Conference Publications [AR]

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