Open Space - People Space: An International Conference on Inclusive Environments

Venue: The Hub

Location: Edinburgh, Midlothian, United Kingdom

Event Date/Time: Oct 27, 2004 End Date/Time: Oct 29, 2004
Registration Date: Oct 27, 2004
Early Registration Date: Jul 31, 2004
Abstract Submission Date: Feb 16, 2004
Paper Submission Date: Jul 31, 2004
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An International Conference on Inclusive Environments

Edinburgh, Scotland: 27–29 October, 2004

Announcement of Online Registration:

OPENspace: the research centre for inclusive access to outdoor environments, is hosting a three-day conference in Edinburgh to review recent research and debate current issues surrounding good design for open space and social inclusion – spaces and places for the 21st century. The programme includes over 170 contributions from an international array of experts covering the major themes of the conference: children and young people; disability and social inclusion; health and restorative environments and tourism and leisure. The key speakers already confirmed include Ann Begg, MP from Aberdeen, Mark Treib, architect and modernist landscape historian, Judy Ling Wong, Black Environment Network, Terry Hartig, Uppsala University, John Zeisel, President of Heartstone Alzheimer Care, Jan Gehl, Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Sean Prendrgast, Peak District National Park Authority, Ken Worpole, urban policy expert and Nilda Cosco, educational psychologist

Open space: People Space
Accessible outdoor spaces are places people can use and enjoy, regardless of background, age or economic status. Inclusive access to high quality public spaces is therefore a cornerstone of democracy and social equity. Inclusive access is at the forefront of good planning and design today, and is central to government priorities in Britain to improve people’s quality of life. It is at the heart of programmes for urban renaissance and for revitalising the tourist industry in town and countryside. Good open space design has implications for health, safety and crime reduction. The implementation of UK disability discrimination legislation, which comes fully into force in 2004, has emphasised the need to widen access for all people and to address users’ needs directly.


Space to Grow: making space for children and young people
Modern urban living places many restrictions on children’s freedom to explore and enjoy their environment. Topics under this theme will embrace a range of issues from the benefits of natural environments for pre-school child development to aspects of autonomy and social identity in teenage experience of outdoor places.

Design for All: making space for social inclusion
People’s perceptions of accessibility in the outdoor environment will determine the success or otherwise of practical measures. It is important to understand the psychological as well as the physical dimensions of access, whether the focus is on older people, disabled people, minority ethnic groups or the public as a whole. One major disincentive to people using open space is anxiety about personal safety: fear of accidents, fear of crime, fear of getting lost. Topics here will include design for outdoor environments so that people feel confident and feel safe.

Healthy Places: making space to improve quality of life
Many studies have argued that being out in the landscape, whether in a city park, a town square or a countryside setting, is potentially good for people’s health. The landscape can play a vital rôle as a “restorative” place, where people get away from stress, relate to natural seasons and elements and experience physical and psychological wellbeing as a result. Topics under this theme will include the value and accessibility of nature on people’s doorsteps as well as issues of healthy lifestyles in relation to the broader environment.

Tourist Places: making space for leisure and recreation
Developments in the tourist industry are focused on maximising the number of visitors who can access different environments in ways that are enjoyable and which do not damage the very qualities those visitors wish to experience. This applies equally to town and countryside, to provision for local people and for international visitors. It has a particular impact on historic and environmentally sensitive environments. Topics here will include methods for high quality, inclusive landscape and urban design which is appropriate to local character and sense of place.

The Venue
The conference is being held in Edinburgh, one of Europe’s finest capitals, with a rich sense of history based around its medieval core and classical, eighteenth century ‘New Town’ (an ICOMOS World Heritage site). The venue is The Hub, headquarters for the Edinburgh International Arts Festival, located in the heart of the city, adjacent to Edinburgh Castle. The lively city environment includes the renowned Royal Botanic Garden, a rich array of art galleries, museums and theatres, and the exciting new Scottish Parliament building designed by Enric Miralles, demonstrating the best of contemporary design juxtaposed with the traditional. Post-conference visits will include opportunities to visit the dramatic rural landscapes of the Highlands and the Borders of Scotland.

Researchers, policy makers, designers, planners, managers and students are encouraged to attend. The conference will be of value to the design professions, social and environmental scientists, and those working in the social services, recreation and tourism, health care and community development.

You can now register online via the openspace website at:

Early bird registration fees apply until 31 July!


The Hub
Royal Mile
United Kingdom

Additional Information

Registration Fees Early Registration (Up to or on 31st July) 195.00 GBP Early Student Registration and/or person aged 65+* (Up to or on 31st July) 140.00 GBP Late Registration (from 1st August) 235.00 GBP Late Student Registration and/or person aged 65+* (From 1st August) 175.00 GBP One Day Registration - 27th Oct 95.00 GBP One Day - 28th Oct 95.00 GBP One Day - 29th Oct 95.00 GBP Accompanying Guest Fee 40.00 GBP Conference Dinner 40.00 GBP Post Conference Programme 25.00 GBP per event *Note: Note these rates are only applicable to delegates who will have student status in October 2004 or have reached the age of 65 by 27th October 2004. A letter verifying student status must be signed by either a supervisor or head of department and sent to the conference secretariat. A copy of a passport or driving license verifying the delegate's age must be produced at the conference for people aged 65 or over.